Re: Male Gaze
In a way, yes, I do feel like it went into the showing off JLaw's body because it is nice. It was never really done to serve the story in my opinion. It's been some time since I've seen it, so coming up with specific examples may be challenging, but the sex scene, her swimsuit, and what stands out the most was her coming across the table at Jim.
I guess my biggest problem with the criticism is that it is made so specifically against this
film, when it is a quality ubiquitous in nearly all of cinema. Are you holding this film to a higher standard because the premise is creepy? While it may veer into moments which serve no apparent purpose but to gaze upon Jlaw in a swimsuit (let us not assume it is only males who gaze), the moments themselves are not particularly revealing. Less even than those of her male co-star. And little enough by today's tendencies.
But I do think these moments serve the story, or the intent of the story... as there is a need for audiences to see the desirability in both of these characters, so that may relate to the desires of
the characters. In Jim's case, relate to his desire for company, and more specifically the company of an attractive other. They could have cast plainer actors, or made up and dressed Pratt & Lawrence in a plainer fashion... but while the two characters may still have found one another desirable, less of the audience would relate to that desire, and the film would have been more of a study of these particular characters, and reflect less strongly the audience's own impulses and desires.
As it was, Jennifer Lawrence is powerfully attractive, and so I was made to reflect on my own desires and the choices I would make in those moments were it me. Would that I could flip a switch and with equal potency see the film from Jennifer Lawrence's pov and feel her attraction to Pratt, and relate and reflect on the situation she finds herself
in. I can, but to nowhere near the same extent.
It also feels like its from some sort of male fantasy where you get to hand pick your girlfriend
And then to DH's point, it raises interesting moral questions/dilemma's but never attempts to answer them. Jim's awakening of Aurora is entirely selfish, and to your point he was alone for a whole year, and that is tremendous strain on your psyche, but it's also essentially murder.
It's a new kind of violation for which we don't really have a word. Murder feels a rather strong to me. Though it does bring about a premature death or sorts, death is hardly the intent. Rape? It bears a likeness insofar as it lacks consent, but there again it's rather strong a word as there's no sexual coercion. The eventual sex is a product of choice based on a deception, not force. Common enough. It's a doozy of a lie though.
Given what happens in The Force Awakens did Leia commit a "murder" of the same degree when she thawed out Han? The context of Han and Jennifer Lawrence's freezing may differ in that Han was frozen against his will, where Jlaw chose it. But then again, Han chose a smuggler's life, and bounty hunter's are a hazard of that job. Han made a calculated risk in choosing his line of work, and Jlaw made a calculated risk in choosing to be frozen and traverse space for 150 years in a craft on autopilot. And once frozen, both Leia and Jim are responsible for choosing the instant in which the clocks of their frozen co-stars are to be restarted, thus determining the world in which will live out their lives (to the extent that they can see the future). As far as Jim knows he's dooming Jlaw to life on a ship, with the hope that he can counterbalance that limitation by being a person with whom such an existence might suck less (at least that's his thinking at the moment of unfreezing her). He does at least have the reasonable expectation that she will live a long life if she should choose it. Leia's situation doesn't afford her any such expectations. We never find out what her plan was had Jabba not seen it coming, apparently from a mile away. Thaw him out and walk out the front door? It seems it was not a very good plan as Jabba had time to get himself set up behind a curtain well before Leia comes in. Either way, Leia has no expectations for what Han's future may hold or how short it will be, but she can be fairly sure that the first moments of it will be pretty high risk.
To me it's a difficult and interesting question, and the movie benefits from exploring it rather than boiling it down to something which it only partly resembles. And that's only looking at it from the outside. The film allows us to also see the question from inside the head of the person actually contemplating doing it. The flaws and justifications. The good intentions mixed with selfishness. The loneliness and plain bad luck. You could write every day for a year and keep coming up with ways to slice and dice the situation. You may well go mad in the attempt, as Jim does to some degree.