She’s gorgeous, she’s a warrior princess, and she’s bulletproof. But there’s something else Wonder Woman is, a heroine. A type of heroine we’re not accustomed to seeing in the cinemas.
If you haven’t yet seen the movie, do. You’ll be pleasantly surprised.
I entered the theater at the beckoning of my husband, armed with complacency and low expectations. When I emerged, however, I was practicing combat moves on my husband and feeling bashful at the thought of my inferior warrior skills. I was hooked. But not because of the fighting sequences, or the costumes, or the cinematography, or even the story, (Don’t get me wrong, it’s all good) but because Wonder Woman is so candidly virtuous.
And virtuous women just don’t seem to headline anymore.
So, here are six reasons Wonder Woman was a hit with me, an absolute skeptic:
1) Gal Gadot is drop dead gorgeous. Not that this is, in fact, a virtue – but let’s be honest, if I have to look at a person’s face for an hour and a half, they need to be watchable. I don’t want to be distracted thinking about how many rounds of Botox they’ve had, or being annoyed at a contorted pout. Wonder Woman is a classic beauty with athleticism and grace. She may as well be a unicorn.
2) She’s bad ass. And I don’t mean in the way that “bad ass” women are portrayed anymore. Diana Prince is fitted with all manner of metallic accouterments and a lifetime of combat training – the girl can fend for herself. But more than her profound physical strength is her tremendous courage. Diana is unabashed and fixated on justice, with her eyes set on the right. She’s as empowered as they come, unafraid of danger, un-intimidated by the risks.
It also doesn’t hurt that she can basically fly.
3) She isn’t callous. Ironically, during the 346 previews prior to the movie, we were introduced to Atomic Blonde. A James Bond-like heroin beating up a zillion different guys in various European settings in an attempt to, I don’t even know what. The plot was an all too familiar one – a female lead having to compromise her virtue and surpress her humanity in order to succeed at some immaterial mission. Diana offers a refreshing contrast. Despite her warrior status, Diana still has softness. She is warm and open-hearted to humans, she squeals at babies and indulges in ice cream. She is not prompted by the battle cry of an army, but the whimpers of a mother.
4) She’s selfless. Diana literally left an Utopian paradise to enter the human world and fight in a war that had nothing to do with her. She didn’t have to leave her family, she didn’t have to leave her home, and she didn’t even have to fight. Compelled by the suffering of strangers, Diana stepped onto a boat and ventured into the unknown, with no hope of returning. Once ensconced in a stranger’s war, it is clear that Diana perserveres only to right a wrong. She’s doesn’t seem interested in pursuing status, or glorifying herself. As she faithfully sets her own needs to the wayside, the wounded world is offered an expert warrior and a graceful heart.
5) She’s a feminist, but an exemplary one. Throughout the film, we admire Diana achieving what men cannot. Any deficits of her male counterparts encourage her abilities. In return, they are able to complete what she begins. A woman’s virtue is never so lovingly illustrated as the iconic No Mans’- Land scene. Moved to pity by the cries of villagers, Diana dismisses everyone’s warnings and orders, to brave what only she can brave. Not to shoot, or attack, but to shield. Endowed by her protection, her men advance. (I wouldn’t call myself sentimental, but this scene has not failed to send chills down my spine and tears to well, despite multiple viewings.)
She earns her place by feats, not complaints. We never see Diana victimize herself, she doesn’t blame mankind for any obstacles that befall her. She doesn’t have to insult men to make herself feel relevant. She doesn’t need to abuse her sexuality to achieve her goals. We don’t find her objectifying herself to be seen, or sporting vulgarity to be heard. Not because she can’t, because she doesn’t have to.
6) She’s not a knockoff. The current cinema landscape is peppered with “Reboots” that cast women in roles previously written for men. I get it, the world wants more female leads – and that’s great. But women should have roles written specifically for them, they shouldn’t have to rehash some guy’s leftovers just to get their name on a bill. Wonder Woman is the highest grossing origin film since Spiderman. A female superhero origin story – that’s unheard of! Why? My guess is that people are sick of seeing the same crap wrapped with different paper. At last we have an original kick ass superhero film intended for a woman with a decent plot and substantial value – and it’s breathtaking to boot.
Wonder Woman is a provocative interpretation of feminism. A female lead that doesn’t compete with her peers, but compliments them. A feminist who has command of herself, and renders courage from her companions, instead of loathing.
This is the hero girls should see.
The world needs to see a woman at her loveliest, and her strongest. A woman who compliments the merits of manhood with the virtue of femininity.
Wonder Woman is a clarification of womanhood, complete with all its faults, and splendor.