Reflection on Double Indemnity. By Thanh Diep Truong
In the movie, there clearly is a character who qualifies to be a femme fatale. As it is said, "the typical femme fatale is sexually uninhibited, unabashedly independent, and ruthlessly ambitious in using her seductive and intellctual charms to manipulate men for her own ends". Phyllis surely exhibits all of these qualities. She is a seductive woman, who uses her beauty to ensnare Walter intelligently. She has her act together right on the first time they met. She made him drawn to her and couldn't stop thinking of her. She really made him work for her own benefits. Walter gradually loses himself since he's met her. He is not the man he was before. Phyllis, the attractive woman with the charming gold anklet, is always on his mind. He would do anything to be would her. He ends up risking his career, his life, to be her lover and to give her what she wanted. At the end, it is she who wants him to die, and willings to do that herself. It is the femme fatale that cause Walter's downfall. In my opinion, Phyllis is a negative characterization of women that the movie is trying to portray. She's smart, clever, strong, determined, independent, but only a femme fatale, a "bad woman" after all. She's not the "good wife" who's royal to her husband, and caress to the daughter. Through Phyllis, I think the movie tries to claim some statements about women. Women are not always naive, weak , nor trustful. They could be dangerous, strong, and betrayal. They do posses power...watch out!