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Archive for July, 2017

So after a lot of delay I finally got the chance to watch Wonder Woman starring Gal Gadot in the titular role alongside Chris Pine, Robin Wright, Danny Huston, David Thewlis and others. This movie has the privilege of being the first superhero movie directed by a female director (Patty Jenkins). It is heralded as an embodiment of women empowerment and displaying female characters more than as a sex icon. For the moment let us look upon the movie as a cinematic work. But first of all I would like to clarify that I am not a reader of Wonder Woman comics so anything written in this review has been written from a stand-alone point of view.
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The movie starts with Diana Prince reminiscing her formative years in the hidden city of Themyscira inhabited by the warrior women race of Amazon created by Zeus. Their prime objective is to protect humankind and also defeat Ares, the God of War, who was put down by Zeus himself for corrupting mankind and waging war among them. Ares shall rise again and wreak havoc and this time the duty befalls on the Amazonians who must defeat him with the help of ‘God Killer’, supposedly a bright shiny sword. Diana, alike her fellow Amazonians, trains hard in war craft much to the disgruntlement of her own mother, Queen Hippolyta who for some reason does not want her to face the hard side of mankind. All is fine till American spy Steve Trevors’ plane crashes into the sea. He is rescued by Diana. Through him the Amazonians come to know about the Great War to end it all and it is upon the moral duty of Diana, being an Amazonian, to end the war by killing Ares who she believes is the reason mankind is fighting. This ensues her journey to London and then to Germany and how she kills the God Ares.
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Well, the story is pretty straightforward. There is a white character (by nature I mean) tugged against a dark villain. It is a fight of white vs black but only in the backdrop of grey. But who knows whether Ares really exists or not and man is the sole culprit to blame. But whether Ares turns out to be real or not there are other elements in the movie that makes Diana into a hero. For instance, she does not think for a second to venture into the No Men’s Land to save the village people. She is repeatedly forced against in doing so by Steve Trevor but nonetheless she enters into it. Spine of a hero, huh? The movie shows her evolving as a person. She is a rule breaker truth to be told. She does not adhere to what Steve says but we may forgive her for that saying what she did was follow her own heart and judgement.

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In terms of power there is not much of a growth from the start to the end but what evolves is her own belief system. She believes that Ares is the only person responsible for the war only to be this belief shattered by Trevor that mankind might be the true Ares. It is the choice she makes that makes her a hero. She finds the little glim of light inside the dark mankind, despite experiencing all the destruction around her, is what we can expect from a hero. To this point I nod to the story. But the movie has its serious flaws as well.

 

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Diana’s picture that Ares being the main baddy is shattered when Trevor confronts her from the point that what if Ares is does not exist and man is the real villain. This point looks exact and makes sense only to be killed by Ares appearing himself. So what does that mean? Humans are not to be blamed completely for the warfare or they are blamed with little accusation to Ares? And if Ares IS really the reason for the war, is killing him is the actual solution to the problem the world faces. The whole film centres on the point of man killing each other but only in the climax it shifts from the human mentality of greed and violence to the single entity i.e. killing Ares. Even if we suppose Ares seeded some ideas of destruction into the mind causing destruction, it still does not end the war.

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So if we look at the big picture Ares was like a catalyst in a big chemical reaction. And just like eliminating a single catalyst does not end the chemical catastrophe, Wonder Woman’s killing the God of War bears tiniest change to the global scene. I am not saying killing Ares was insignificant to the story but watching in lieu of the rest of the movie it seriously shifts the focus to something else. In addition to that the one thing that really bothered me is the fight between the two Gods was so mortal. The guy who could not even be killed by Zeus was defeated in such a simple manner. They are Gods for god’s sake. They transcend from the mere physical dimension on what humans survive. And it also seems quite peculiar that Ares was hidden since such a long time amongst the same humans that he despises. I mean why he really lives as a human among the human since he can fulfil his purposes by flying invisible in the air whispering chemistry ideas to half-faced scientists.

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But beside these flaws the whole movie is enjoyable and kind of refreshing in a sense that the humour unlike the MCU is put in at the right time and not at critical emotional scenes thus eroding them of their sentimental tempo. Chris Pine in his role as an imperfect man is really nice. They have not tried to show him as an always righteous perfect kind of guy which at times seems to happen in a female centric movie. David Thewlis unfortunately is not amusing in his role as Ares. There could be some more layers to his role.

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The music is nicely integrated into the storyline which is at a balance. The action feels nice to the eyes except at times when the CGI of the fighting characters is too obvious. On this front DCEU needs more work.

Rating – 3.5/5

Verdict – Overall Wonder Woman is a nice movie to be enjoyed by both a feminist and a non-feminist alike. Superheroes are anyway above the confinement of gender.

  1. If you are thinking I didn’t much say about Gal then she is already fabulous and really suits and does justice to the iconic character of Wonder Woman. Plus I am a big fan of hers

 

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