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The Feminist Analysis of Enough (2002)

Enough is an American thriller movie directed by Michael Apted, released in 2002, and written by Nicholas Kazan. This movie is an adaptation of Anna Quindlen’s bestseller novel, Black and Blue, published in 1998. The movie stars Jennifer Lopez as the female protagonist of the movie, playing the character of “Slim.” “Slim” is seen as the victim of the patriarchal regime and male dominance. She is an abused wife who becomes the victim of a white, rich man (her husband). The abusive white rich husband is Mitch (Campbell), who becomes intensely abusive and authoritative towards Slim after a few years of marriage. The movie Enough aims to unveil the conspicuous theme of domestic violence to uphold the importance of self-defense by allowing the audience to experience the ultimate defeat of Slim’s abuser (Mitch) by her hand in a patriarchal society.

The heart-wrenching plot revolves around the main character, “Slim,” who becomes the victim of harassment and domestic abuse by her husband, Mitch. The vivid imagery is used in the opening scenes of the movie showing “Slim” working as a waitress and being harassed by a customer. Mitch (a Rich white man) saves her from the harasser, traditionally reflecting masculinity and heroism. Later on, after their marriage and a daughter Gracie, Mitch starts to abuse Slim by slapping her and calling her his possession. When Mitch realized that he did not have possession or control over Slim, he became extremely violent and aggressive to exhibit control over her. “The Power and Control Diagram” can be elucidated to unveil Mitch’s format of violence and abuse inflicted upon Slim and Gracie to gain control over them. The Domestic Intervention Project created “The power and Control Diagram” in 1984 to explain the experience of domestic abuse victims and the strategies of abusers used upon the victims (Grau).

The significant theme of domestic violence is portrayed through Slim’s victimized character. The director uses the character of Slim to showcase psychological and physical abuse. The psychological and physical abuse upon “Slim” can be seen through the actions of violent, possessive, and over-controlling Mitch (husband). Domestic violence and its consequences are portrayed through Mitch and Slim’s relationship. During her poisonous marriage, she approaches multiple people for her help. Slim approached the lawyer and her father for help against her husband. As she is living in a patriarchal dominating society, all of them refuse to help her or give her hope. Slim uses multiple ways to escape from the clutches of Mitch, but he always tracks her down. At last, Slim learns self-defense in an institution, and in a fight with Mitch, she throws him off the balcony to save herself and their daughter, Gracie. The character of Mitch portrays the dominating male patriarchy who inflicts physical abuse upon their women to exercise control.

The movie showcases the theme of self-defense to encourage all the women to fight for themselves, freedom, integrity, and desires on their own. Slim encourages all the victimized women to fight against domestic violence and power control inflicted upon them by their male counterparts. Slim only kills Mitch to save her and Gracie’s life because she has already attempted many times to hide from Mitch, but he always finds her and inflicts his power and abuse upon her. The movie does not promote revenge killing against abusive male counterparts or husbands. It only reflects self-defense and fighting back for freedom (Rrasetyowati). Slim’s training for self-defense is a poignant step to attain freedom and self-confidence. During the last fight with Mitch, Slim stated, “Self-defense is not a murder” (Enough 1:43), propagating the positive message. This envisages Slim’s action of killing Mitch as self-defense and not killing for revenge. Slim attains freedom by self-defense without any other help. She gives a lesson to all the domestic abuse victims in the world to fight for themselves against their abusers and achieve the choice of freedom.

In a nutshell, the movie traces upon the important feminist themes envisaging female victims of domestic violence and power control by male oppressors. The positive message of self-defense is not killing for revenge/ murder is propagated by the director and the actress (Jenifer Lopez) to the audience. The movie Enough sets an example for all domestic abuse victims to learn self-defense and achieve freedom from the clutches of their abusers.

Works Cited

Apted, Michael, director. Enough. Sony Pictures, 2002.

Grau, Janice, Jeffrey Fagan, and Sandra Wexler. “Restraining orders for battered women: Issues of access and efficacy.” Women & Politics 4.3 (1984): 13-28.

Rrasetyowati, Eka Dewi. Slim’s Struggle to Defend herself at Nicholas Kazan’s Enough Movie (2002): A Feminist Approach. Diss. Universitas Muhammadiyah Surakarta, 2011.



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