The more we talk about her, the more I realise that women of my generation (who watched TV between 1975 and 1979) are in love with Wonder Woman. So the making of this film (by a female director) has been timed to perfection, here we are little girls grown big, yearning for a big bit of escapism and fantasy. I want(ed) to be her but the closest I ever got was owning a pair of Wonder Woman knickers, about 8 years ago (finally) which I wore underneath my clothes. I try to be like her, you know, kind and loving all the time whilst endeavoring to save the world but I’m lacking something, maybe it’s the rest of the outfit? It’s true that I have been tempted to buy it but sadly Argos in Wexford only stocks the child sizes nowadays.
Of course superhero movies are an absolute escape from reality, and escape is what I was doing last night when I ran away from a husband languishing on the couch with a cold, three bouncy kids and a sink full of dirty dishes, to the cinema. I am heartless in comparison to my ultimate wannabe idol, who is endlessly compassionate and selfless, but I had a brilliant excuse, the teenager needed to be at a party with a late collection time, this was the perfect time filler. Besides, it’s a fact that WW can afford to be loving as well as have plenty of time to save the world not being a mum and wife and all.
I have to say I LOVED the movie and would highly recommend it to everyone. It’s rated 12A and I think even boy teens would enjoy it (action, guns, evil dudes, gorgeous Amazons 😜). Being a fantasy film, I was expecting a suspension of belief, but what I didn’t anticipate was how much truth was subtly woven through the messages of the film.
The overarching theme of the story is the corruptibility of the human heart and our need of redemption. The story is set during the first World War and through the atrocities depicted, the point is raised that as individuals, none of us are without blame. After WW has killed the General and she questions why the war continues, Steve Trevor, her boyfriend, responds by saying ‘We’re all to blame, maybe it’s men…we are all bad’.
I think this quote from the film sums it up beautifully: ‘It’s not what you deserve but what you believe and I believe in love.’ It may sound trite but the profundity is in that evil represented in the story, by the god of war Ares, has no concept of love or self-denial. Although all fairy tales are variations on the theme of how good triumphs over evil, in this story the triumph, like Aslan’s in Narnia, is a supreme act of self-sacrificial love (a life is offered) in order for evil to be defeated in the end.
In one scene WW tells Steve that her people act as a ‘bridge to a greater understanding’. Yet it took an act of human self sacrifice for WW to realise herself how to defeat evil and this bridged the gap between her immortality and her understanding of what it means to be human.
I cried, naturally, like a big girl! The unbreakable connection between love and loss is another theme throughout the film. Her mother tells her when she is leaving home, ‘You have been my greatest love, today you are my greatest sorrow’. I was ok then, however, it was a later scene where those who die too young are mourned that left me (and leaves me) reaching for the tissues. I never cried over those things when I was a little girl, but then I didn’t know what it was like to lose those I love.
There is a moment in the film when I got goosebumps 😀 It’s the scene where she breaches no-man’s land and is shown in all her Wonder Woman glory! (Actually it’s the scene in the image at the top). How I long to be able to stride out in confidence and beauty, hair blowing back, in high heeled wedges and gorgeous leather corset, fending off bullets with the sign of the cross before my chest!
For the moment though I’m content to pretend to look like her while I go about my business of being being Wonder Mum in my little world of home/bombsite clearance and soothing boo boos. I have a purse my sister brought back for me from South America that I have decided to use for carrying a little bit of makeup, that’s my war paint. I’m teaching my little girls not to put it ALL over their faces – gotta win the battles from the heart too you know!
A great article here in Vox.com describes how Wonder Woman is a female superhero in a man’s world and how her boyfriend Steve achieves what no superhero girlfriend ever has.