Wonder full

wonder womanReview by Penny Mulvey

Movie | Wonder Woman | M

The basic premise of a superhero movie is that good triumphs over evil. The only grey to the story is that the personification of ‘evil’ has experienced something which tipped him (evil in the genre is normally male) into the world of darkness.

Wonder Woman turns the genre on its head in so many ways. At its core, this wonderful, strong feminist story has a message for our time, a concept core to the Christian faith. Evil is multi-dimensional. Humans, in all their complexity, are capable of both good and evil.

Diana (Wonder Woman, played by Gal Gadot) had to learn this lesson after leaving the magnificent cloistered island of Themyscira, home of the Amazons. Daughter of Queen Hippolyta (Connie Nielsen), Diana has grown up knowing only women, all trained in the art of war (relying on strength and skills not guns and bombs), believing that the Amazons are training to protect the world from Ares, the God of War.

Diana learns the hard way that evil is often disguised and her own Garden of Eden was built on lies. Constructed, perhaps, to protect her, she is unprepared for the brutality of the war to end all wars.

There is much to enjoy about this movie. Women are presented as strong, funny and not needing to define themselves in  relation to men.

The male lead, American spy Steve Trevor (Chris Pine), quickly understands Wonder Woman’s power and readily enables her to take a prominant role.

Director Patty Jenkins honours the superhero genre – viewing needs a big screen with surround-sound to do it justice – but the detailed retelling of Diana’s time on Themyscira, alongside the positive power of Wonder Woman provides an important message for women and girls. You don’t have to be male to be significant. Wonder Woman is as good a role model as any, even if she is a figure of fantasy.

 

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