Mental Health

A look at infertility in Scarface…

Today on the menu is “Jessica Jones” and being lazy until I freelance later.  Ugh.  The weather is still yucky and it leaves me with no motivation to leave the house.  Isn’t that funny?  Recently I was dying to leave the house, and now I’m dying to stay in.  Funny how bad weather does that to you.

No word yet about how our home visit went.  I’m on pins and needles here.  I NEED TO KNOW.

SPOILERS FOR THE 1983 FILM SCARFACE BELOW!

Fresh of the heels of watching “Narcos” “with” Artemis (with is in quotes because we live in different cities and just watch the same shit at the same time and message each other about it), he mentioned Tony Montana, and I had to embarrassingly confess I had never seen Scarface.  Turns out it’s on Netflix, and I had lots of free time yesterday, so I watched it.  Being that there are basically only two women in the film, and I don’t have an insanely overprotective brother, relating to Gina was out of the picture.  Naturally, that leaves me relating to Elvira.  Of course, I’m not a coke head nor married to a mobster, but I related to her for two main reasons.  First, she’s clinically depressed as evidenced by her behavior.  All the money and all the nice things she has isn’t enough to make her happy.  Things don’t equal happiness.  Second, its alluded that she is infertile.  In her final scene in the movie, Tony says about Elvira “Her womb is so polluted, I can’t even have a fuckin’ little baby with her” which causes Elvia to attack Tony’s potential for being a good father and further confesses that she hates her life.  During this scene we learn that Elvia sleeps all day (a well-known symptom of depression), and that she and Tony don’t regularly have sex (because we all know that she doesn’t love him).  As an addict, access to drugs is the most important thing to her, and after the death of Frank, she stands to lose that access lest she leave with Tony.  In this film Elvira is a prize for Tony.  She is something to be won, to prove he can get whatever he wants after all “The world is yours.”  However, my argument must go back to infertility.  How do we know Elvira is, in fact, infertile?  Our only evidence for this is that Tony simply says she can’t have children, but she never confirms nor flat out denies Tony’s claims.  Who are we to believe?  A murderous drug lord or his coke addicted wife?  It’s true that Elvira is quite skinny and that in this scene she isn’t eating stating she lost her appetite.  (It’s also true that Michelle Pfeiffer said she didn’t eat much to maintain the coke addled physique of her character which became difficult for her as the shoot continued past it scheduled duration.)  While weight can affect fertility (someone who is severely underweight can have missed or stopped periods making it difficult to conceive), there is nothing to indicate that this is the case for Elvira.

Here are some facts presented in the film:

  • Elvira wasn’t keen to take care of children herself.  She told Tony it would be okay if there was a nurse.  She obviously didn’t see herself as the mothering type.
  • Tony says she sleeps all day and won’t have sex with him.
  • Elvira says more than once Tony would be a bad father.

Honestly, I don’t know how drug use affects fertility.  I assume negatively, but like I said I don’t know.  However, I want to make the case that perhaps Elvira wasn’t in fact infertile.  Perhaps, she did it on purpose because she really didn’t want to have kids with someone as bad as Tony Montana.  There’s also the argument to make that she could have been secretly taking birth control pills or been using some other sort of birth control because I honestly don’t think she was monitoring her cycles.  We all know that you can’t get pregnant if you don’t have sex right?  If Elvira had had a MC that might have been reason to believe Tony, but there is no such evidence presented.  What Tony says to her at dinner was so cruel and hurtful that is causes Elvira to leave him (which I think is the best thing she did during the whole film because had she stayed, she might have been killed alongside him).

That’s my argument.  While I relate to Elvira a little bit (because of depression and infertility), I don’t think she was in fact infertile.  I just think Tony was an asshole which is evidenced by the entire fucking film.  If you’ve seen Scarface, what do you think?  Am I the only one who thought so critically about this?

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5 thoughts on “A look at infertility in Scarface…

  1. Interesting is the only thing I remember about the movie is that it was so violent I stopped watching it… I looked on Wikipedia though and it does say that he found out she was infertile and it permanently “soured him” on her and that he blamed her infertility on her drug use in that quote you mentioned. That’s about as much information as I saw, and of course we know that addicts are capable of having babies so who knows if the author put any more thought into it than that…

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      1. And now that I think about it, I just realized I’m thinking of The Godfather book, as Scarface is based on a 1932 movie and kinda doubting the men involved put a whole lot of thought into infertility then or in Stone’s version. You definitely got me thinking this morning!

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