Wonder Woman Movie Review: Hits The Right Chord Despite Its Flaws
Sometimes sloppy, yet consistently entertaining, Wonder Woman turns out to be the film DC fans and makers, both, have been waiting for.
A still from Wonder Woman. (Youtube/Warner Bros DC)
Director Patty Jenkins and Warner Bros. took a huge responsibility when they introduced a standalone film on the first female superhero, Wonder Woman. The expectations were certainly high because never had any female character led the charge as the centre of any superhero saga. While Wonder Woman has had a loyal fanbase for over eight decades now, it was still a challenge for money-minded makers to risk an entire film on the shoulders of a 'woman'. But Gal Gadot along with director Jenkins perform their tasks incredibly well.
Known for their gritty, dark settings and storylines, the cinematic endeavour of Wonder Woman brings the much-needed light and love in DC Universe. The story is that of the origin of a Warrior, Diana who resides in Themyscira, home to the all-female society of Amazons. While she is said to be carved out of clay and brought to life by Zeus himself, there is a certain secret that the Amazonian queen doesn't want her daughter to know.
Diana learns to fight like a warrior and when an American soldier (Chris Pine), Steve Trevor, enters their utopian worlds bringing the facts of the ongoing war, she leaves her island behind to serve her duty as an Amazon. With her child-like innocence, courage, and her company, Diana learns a lot about the 'perfect' mankind and how much 'they' deserve her help.
Set during the World War I, the film is loaded with subtle satire and sly comments about the struggle of women, the reality of war and greed of men, which poignantly are still relevant. Unlike its predecessors, the humour in Wonder Woman is direct and light, proving as a respite from the depravity and outrage of other characters from the Universe.
Gal Gadot who made an interesting debut as the character in Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice, makes a lasting impact in Wonder Woman as well. Proving an inspired choice for the avatar of truth, justice and ideal way of living, the actor remains largely faithful to her comic origins while crafting a hero who is both thoroughly inclusive and refreshingly old-school. In her earliest editions, Wonder Woman was an all-American figure with a mythical background; whereas in the film, she’s an essentially mythical force who just happens to fight for the side of British and Americans.
A huge factor in the film's ability to convey a note of inherent goodness lies in Gadot, whose persona radiates empathy and eyes speak of determination. There isn’t an array of emotions that she masters, but the consistent look of amusement and disappointment is enough to convey her emotions, at least in this movie.
Wonder Woman is the first major studio superhero film directed by a woman, and it shows in a number of subtle, yet important ways. As skimpy as Gadot’s outfits may get, the camera never leers and voyeurism is kept at bay. Diana is always framed as an agent of power, rather than its object. When she finally unleashes her full fighting potential in battle sequences, there is a whirl of slow-motion mayhem, and Jenkins never lets Diana’s personality get lost amid all the flawless choreography. The director shows how a woman should actually be portrayed on screen, a lesson to note for every future filmmaker here.
Chris Pine plays the sidekick in the film with much vigour and gets an equal display of courage as the leading lady with the mystical bracelet. Pine plays his role of Steve Trevor with a great deal of good humour. He nonetheless registers as a noble yet awkward and an extremely powerful woman. It’s clear why Diana finds him amusing rather than impressive.
However, the film has its flaws.Wonder Woman does fall victim to a fair bit of blockbuster bloat, and a trio of comic-relief comrades who don’t add enough to the narrative given to them. There is also an extravagant battle sequence which looks forced and childish considering the fact that audience has grown above all the CGI mayhem.
Boisterous, earnest, sometimes sloppy, yet consistently entertaining, Wonder Woman turns out to be the film DC fans and makers, both, have been waiting for. Ironically, in a world where boys are said to have all the fun, it's the women - Jenkins and Gadot - who actually guide the Universe to crack the code they'd been looking for since 2016.
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