Another Reason to Love Zoe Saldana

A still from

A still from “The Book of Life” from bookoflifemovie.com

Zoe Saldana has done it again.

Instead of taking on a role that solely features her good looks, Saldana’s most recent film role emphasizes her voice. And it’s a voice that must be heard.

In the new animated film “The Book of Life,” Saldana provides the voice for Maria, a young and beautiful woman who must decide who to marry between two men, Manolo and Joaquin (voiced by Diego Luna and Channing Tatum, respectively). Although the film mainly tells the story of Manolo’s journey back to Maria after he dies, Maria’s attitudes towards marriage, relationships and even feminism come to the forefront.

Although both men try their hardest to impress her, Maria makes it known that it will take more than good looks and mere acts of brawn to pique her interest in either of them. Maria doesn’t belong to either of her suitors, which she makes very clear. However, she does desire a relationship with someone who not only loves her but also respects her.

It’s no surprise that Saldana chose to add this role to her list of acting credentials. She’s played a fierce warrior in “Guardians of the Galaxy,” a vengeful assassin in “Columbia” and several other strong female characters.

Saldana is more that just a pretty face; Her upcoming film roles will continue to prove that.

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Why Women Must See “Guardians of the Galaxy”

Guardians of the GalaxyBesides its funny leading man, intense action scenes and host of comedic supporting characters, the real gem in Marvel’s “Guardians of the Galaxy” is actually green.

“Guardians” shows the adventure that follows thief Peter Quill (Chris Pratt) as he travels his galaxy transporting and protecting a mysterious orb that has disastrous power. A host of other criminals travel with Quill, also known as Star-Lord, including a genetically-engineered raccoon named Rocket (perfectly voiced by Bradley Cooper), Rocket’s companion and somewhat talkative tree Groot, inmate Drax the Destroyer (wrestler Dave Bautista) and green-skinned assassin Gamora (Zoe Saldana).

Each member of the gang brings his or her (or its) own style to the bunch. Rocket’s no-nonsense attitude (in perfect contrast to his size) steals countless scenes in the movie. Yet, although Gamora doesn’t bring much of the laughs, she brings much (much) more.

Gamora is smart, sexy (yes, she works that green skin) and strategic. Not long after her introduction in the film, she’s already kicking Quill’s ass. To top it off, it’s her plan that leads the rest of the “guardians,” as they are eventually called, out of prison and on to their quest with the coveted orb.

The film is obviously male-dominated. However, Gamora shines in nearly every scene that she’s in with her tough attitude and lethal fighting skills. She may be surrounded by men (or the “biggest idiots in the galaxy”) but she holds her own. Saldana made sure of it.

Saldana has remained vocal about her opinions of female characters in film today. In an interview with “The Telegraph,” she commented: “Why would I beat around the bush? I’d be wasting your money and your time if I played someone who doesn’t feel to me like a realistic woman. To me, a woman is not an incompetent, impotent, inept creature. I’ve never met a woman like that. Yet half of the scripts you read in Hollywood have [subservient] characters. I’m not a maid to anybody.”

Saldana appears to be unapologetic, fierce, and smart. So, it’s only fitting that her roles mirror those some attributes.

So, finally, in the midst of male superheroes such as Ironman, Superman, Batman, Spiderman, and any other man that’s not mentioned, women have another superheroine we can add to our list of favorites.

And she’d give any other superhero a run for his money.