The film What's Love Got to do With It is based on the life of Tina Turner. The movie shows her as a young child and how her mother left her with her to be raised by her grandmother. Tina's grandmother passes away and then she goes to live with her mother and her older sister, this is where things begin to change for Tina or Anna Mae (her birth name). While attending a club Tina sings a song for Ike Turner who really likes her and wants to make her his lead singer and this is exactly what happens. Ike and Tina end up becoming an item and things are great in the beginning, Tina is a big hit, they have their first child and they are in love. Things begin to change after the birth of their child, Tina was tired and did not feel up to performing, although Ike did not physically abuse her at the time, this was the first time when he used verbal abuse towards Tina. From then on out, whenever Ike felt that Tina was defying him or just whenever he wanted to, he beat her regardless of who was around. A major turning point in the film is when Tina tries to kill herself by taking a lot of pills. While in the hospital, an old group member (member who left the group because Ike hit her) visited and told Tina that she was still her friend that that she could come and stay with her whenever she wanted. After Tina's recovery, she decided to visit her, when she arrived she got an awakening. Her friend introduced her to Buddhism which gives her the strength she needs to break away from Ike. Finally, Tina does just that, while in a limo, Ike begins to beat Tina but this time she fights back and protects herself. When they arrive to the hotel, Ike takes a nap and then Tina makes a run for it...she leaves Ike. From this point on Tina exhibited the strength and courage needed to protect her as well as her children. While going through her divorce she says that she wants nothing from Ike except her name and that is all she got. After the divorce, Tina still had to deal with Ike's threats towards her and her children but that did not stop her, she formed a rock 'n' roll grouped and continued to sing until she retired.
This film deals with issues of gender by placing males above women, although the movie was about the life of Tina Turner, Ike Turner treated all of the women around him with little respect and he even hit one of them without thinking twice about it. On top of this, the men that were in Ike's band, friends, and even business associates said nothing about his treatment towards Tina or any other women. The women in the film are represented as sex objects, and punching bags. In the beginning of the film the movie does not give a positive or empowering representation of females, but when Tina begins to find herself and realize that she can do better this image begins to change. I would have to say that by Tina leaving although all of the odds were against her is very empowering and positive.
I do consider this to be a feminist film because feminism is about bringing to light the issues that women face and trying to eliminate the issues at the same time. Feminists believe that unequal treatment occurs because our society is male dominated, and this is what occurred in the film. Ike dominated Tina, he was able to do by threatening her, abusing her and controlling her. Personally, I enjoyed the film. I really admired Tina's strength as well as her courage, she survived 25 years of verbal, physical, sexual, emotional, and financial abuse. I also admired her ability to move forward, she did not allow her past to determine her future, she knew what she wanted to accomplish and she did it without Ike. This film does not really relate to my personal experiences because I have never been placed in the situation that Tina was in. Tina had a lot of people against her including her own mother and I just can't relate. Overall, I think that this is a good film, I think anyone who watches it can gain some type of strength from Tina because she was such a strong woman.
What's Love Got to Do With It the film