I never thought I would write a film review on this page, but here I am doing just that! Why? Well, because inspiration strikes when inspiration strikes, and today, it hasn’t just struck me, it has ‘lassoed’ me into an experience of epic proportions!
Do I sound too hyperbolic? Too excited? If so, stop reading because my exuberant disposition will only get stronger as the you read on (if you do).
*SPOILER ALERT* (I’m giving you a way off this site, take it, and don’t blame me later!)
The film, directed by Patty Jenkins, was everything a movie can be! Yes, there were some shortcomings, from tiny ones like how the lasso appeared after Ares had destroyed it to how predictable the ending was, but let’s celebrate this film instead of nitpicking every tiny detail.
First and definitely foremost, we need to talk about that walk across No Man’s Land. Showing Wonder Woman shielding herself from every flying bullet, that scene is possibly one of the most emotional sequences I have watched. For some strange reason, it just moved me to the point of tears. Perhaps, it was the synergy of sound and colour and expression that just intertwined so naturally. The use of close-up shots and wide shots in that scene connote to how personal each bullet was for Diana, the use of slow motion to create an effect of understanding one’s own power, the music which just made the scene work, and Gal Gadot’s acting that perfectly captured what the, unfortunately fictitious, superhero would have felt painted a picture of empowerment. Or, maybe, it spoke to me as a woman. It showed me the unflinching side each woman has, and the way that scene just exuded absolute resolution, was unexpectedly rousing.
But, what stronger emotion is there than love? It is such an important aspect of any origin story as it drives a hero … but I think it also played a very different role in this movie. With the theme of war, the juxtaposing presentation of love was connotative of the prevalence of an inherent predisposition towards hate, at that time. I say this because of how quickly both protagonists fell in love. Yes, it could be critiqued as being slightly forced into the short time the movie had, but what if it means something else? The characters fall in love within days of meeting each other and perhaps this duration highlights the fierce need for an intense emotion that elicits positivity. The war has drained so much of them, that they need something to replenish their barren souls. Then, the heartbreak. Oh, what a sorrowful and intense scene that was. From Diana’s realisation of Steve’s whereabouts to Steve’s hysteria, it was beautifully choreographed. Showing the rawness and the uncontrolled explosion of emotion, Diana’s final retaliation to Ares was possibly indicative of the conviction with which she held onto love. Why this is important is because of how it emphasises this idea of needing love to sustain oneself; even the loss of such a fresh love inflicted a deep, lasting wound, making the possession of love seem that much more cherished, and the situation that much more extreme.
Now, let’s discuss the woman who embodied the eponymous character. Gal Gadot presented this goddess amongst humans with every bit of grace, sincerity, and fortitude as her character was supposed to have. Showing both sides of the idealistic Diana Prince, Gadot was able to bring out a fragility unexpected from one who wields such power. Through her reactions to shattered fate and a crushed heart, Gadot was able to bring to life a sense of dire desperation and utter brokenness, giving this very quixotic superhero a much needed vulnerability. The naivety of the character, and Diana’s inability to understand human darkness, perhaps, awoke the child in me – the one unaware of hate, the one that questions the very fundamentals of war, the inquisitive moralist. The simplicity of the dialogue was a true testament to the writers as often dialogue is unnecessarily lengthy and overly nuanced; the use of an uncluttered lexis was able to truly suggest how elementary this refusal of brutality is! Being able to highlight such a message using a superhero movie is truly a commendable feat for a director to achieve.
Talking about directors, then, PATTY JENKINS. First giving the world the masterpiece that is ‘Monster’, she really has delivered once more. Creating one of the most successful superhero films, she has broken the glass ceiling. Booming box office numbers, rightfully-obtained praises from critics, an enormous fan base, this movie has got it all and the backstage leading lady is the one to credit. Having been given a blockbuster like this to direct, Jenkins showed the world that a female director is more than capable of handling this genre and challenged every skeptic’s views towards a woman’s role in the directorial chair. In fact, seeing as this film fared far better than the disastrous ‘Batman vs. Superman’, maybe its time for Hollywood to take note and start recognising the talent they are so idiotically ignoring. This is what makes this movie even more important to me. I have had an aspiration of becoming a director for a while now and have been discouraged by the rarity of a female name in the opening credits. This has affected my parents’ perception of my success in this field and will probably have an effect on my upcoming decisions regarding eduction. However, this film has done it! I have never been more sure of or motivated towards my ambition, because if this is what the film industry can produce, I want to be the someone producing it. I want to make magic. No, it is not going to be easy, and yes, I might fail, but that’s okay. I’ll be resilient, I’ll be strong, I’ll embrace rejection, I just won’t tolerate not trying.
So, thank you, ‘Wonder Woman’, for the 137 minute-long film and lifelong impact.”