A few thoughts on Wonder Woman, non-spoilery.
After much schedule searching, and back and forth between my two youngest children, after making plans for Saturday, and changing plans and one child’s invitation to a birthday party, we finally, at the very last minute, decided to go see Wonder Woman Thursday night, unofficial opening night. It’s kind of funny how movies used to come out on Friday officially, but more recently actually begin showing on Thursday night. It was a 7:30 showing, and surprisingly it was pretty full. Stadium seating, the lower level mostly empty. We were pretty high up, and once the lights came on, we exited at the top. I know it said exit, but I didn’t expect it to go anywhere, but we discovered an entire new area of the movie theatre that made us feel like we were in a James Bond movie, well, actually, more like Spy Kids. We were ridiculously excited about it. We were all eleven for five or ten minutes, and then we took the elevator down. But that is another story.
I liked the balance of fast and slow pace, the light and the dark.
I loved all of the actors – perfectly cast. I especially loved Gal Gadot. I loved her audacity as an independent woman growing up with other women, not knowing World War I protocol of women as second class citizens. The men’s (and women’s) reactions to her were beautifully done. It was also a little sad to see how much hasn’t changed.
Strong women – those Amazonians. Not just their physical strength which was impressive, but their way of life and living. So much love for their world. I was anticipating and waiting for Wonder Woman to emerge, but I also found her backstory, her origins compelling. There were soe differences from the comic books, but in movies when isn’t there? I enjoyed seeing the relationships among the Amazonians.
When Diana left the island, there was none of that typical, take care of my girl sentimentality. It was a familial concern, but also the feeling of you got this, and we all know she did despite she and we not knowing what she would find in “man’s world.”
As a woman with an eleven-year old daughter, it was nice to be able to observe the women seen not as a focus of the male gaze, but gender neutrally or female positive. It was also a nice change of pace in a woman-centric movie to have the men not be buffoons or the butt of jokes to make the women “look better” or to give them “an air of superiority.” There was a definite egalitarian feeling between the genders despite even the male discomfort of the times depicted.
I also loved Diana’s wonder at Steve Trevor’s world, the innocence of discovering new things and cultural misunderstandings that happen to all of us in a strange place, while still not being child-like in her lack of knowledge of our world. No infantilization or stereotyping.
It was identifiable to me. It had well rounded characters, three-dimenstional, relatable. The big bads were big and bad. Diana’s disappointment that the war to end all wars wasn’t that.
There was humor and funny parts, and the blending of superhero, mythology, history, and comic book stories was just brilliant.
There were also emotional moments. As things happened, I would catch myself with my hand over my mouth, anticipating something only to have something else happen. There were moments when I had to catch my breath and refocus. At times, I had tears in my eyes.
I also really enjoyed the underlying message of love, of working together for the betterment. Her compassion was contagious. There was patriotism without rampant nationalism, compatriots and companions, friends made, no jealous fits or fisticuffs. No ownership of any character by another as well as of storyline. Each character had his or her own storyline and background that was just as important and compelling as Diana’s while being wholly different from one another. They were still drawn together as allies. There was trust. And love.
There were so many phrases and quotations that I want to share, but those would definitely be spoilers, so I will have to wait a couple of weeks, and include some art for it.
I felt, and still feel very connected to it, and as much as I liked it Thursday night, I know I’ll only like it more when I see it again. This one is definitely a keeper.