Part Two of my three part series on the Wonder Woman movie. Now we get to talk about:
After seventy-six years, and a lot of wishing and hoping, we finally get Wonder Woman on the big screen. And what’s awesome is that we truly did get a Wonder Woman film because the people making this movie understood, at some deep levels, the hero whose story they were telling.
Like a lot of women, this movie was emotional for me. I cry just thinking of certain scenes. The fight in No Man’s Land, or the charge of the Amazons on the beach. Not to mention the end. Why did a superhero film make me cry while watching it? And why am I not alone in that? It’s a good question, a hard one to answer because it’s different and yet the same for each of us. I agree with many of the women who are already writing about this that there is an emotional release because at last, we see that these stories aren’t just for male heroes, they are for any and all of us.
The feminine is heroic.
To me, this is the power of this film. Seeing my daughter pump her fist in the air and want to be just like General Antiope (Robin Wright). To see my son clap his hands with glee when Wonder Woman battles heroically. I could use every adjective I know and still, I would not come close to how I feel when I think of this film.
God! I’ve waited so long to see a female hero like this. Strong, beautiful, compassionate, loving, kind. Wholly a woman and wholly a hero. The two coexist in Wonder Woman as naturally as breathing, and no one doubts that it should be that way.
We have seen so many sister heroes who have had to justify their strength and showcase their feminity in ways that weaken them as characters, heroes, and people. We have seen them reduced to sidekicks, to have to be one thing for all women. And even though Diana is one woman, we get to see her Amazonian sisters alongside her for the first twenty minutes or so of the movie. They are of all shapes and sizes, all skin hues. They are young. They are older. They are all completely female and completely heroic.
I didn’t realize it at first, but most of the Amazons are portrayed by athletes, the real-life superheroes of our world. And watching it a second time in one weekend I could see the strength, grace, courage, and grit that made them heroes in the real world. They were, individually and as a whole, one of the most beautiful things I’d ever seen on film.
For Wonder Woman, Love is the most Powerful
Wonder Woman is arguably one of the most powerful heroes in all of DC, and she uses her powers with compassion and love. Really, that’s the theme of the movie: Power used with Love. It’s profound, especially in our worldwide political climate. She sees the suffering of mankind, and is told again and again by the men around her “You can’t do anything, this isn’t our mission.” And, finally fed up with it, does what her heart and soul tell her to. In the process, she inspires an army of men and saves a village of innocent people. She is clear-eyed and sure in her purpose, no matter the naivete that she carries with her. When faced with the shattering of deeply held beliefs and heartbreak she doesn’t respond with anger or vengeance, she chooses to love.
Was the film perfect? No, but it was damn close.