It took me far too long – far too long – to get myself to the cinema to see Wonder Woman. AKA the most kickbutt and exciting film I have seen in a long time. Spoilers: I loved it. Gal Gadot brought us another fantastic female superhero; the warrior of all warriors. Previously, it has seemed that my 20s cast a spell on me: The Dad in a Cinema Spell. I actually have come to fear the cinema because of how much my eyes let me down, begging me to just fall asleep right there and then in a crowded cinema. But – you guessed it – they didn’t even tease me when I watched Wonder Woman after a day at work. And missing even a second of the film would have been a tragedy.
The film is absolutely smashing reviews and, ten minutes in, it’s easy to see why. With Gal Gadot as Diana Prince (Wonder Woman), Chris Pine as Steve Trevor (American pilot), an army of strong women and a stellar and an often (just the right amount of) hilarious cast around them, yeah, it’s my new favourite film. It tells the story of princess of the Amazons, Diana, training up to become the strongest warrior of them all. In a world where it is normal for gender to be no boundary, Diana did not expect American pilot – a man?! – and a world full of war and destruction to turn up on her doorstep… or on the beach that can only be described as paradise. But she knows what she has to do. WW1 meets Wonder Woman and it’s super duper cool.
And what is compatible with a kickbutt heroine… a lot of chat about feminism. *Enter Kat with her I AM A FEMINIST t-shirt on, a grin and a lot to say.* But before I gush over the character and film that allowed us to forgive DC for previous *cough* disappointments, I will shortly disclose the basis behind my article about it in my monthly newsletter (Feminism Up). As I named the article, not all feminists wear capes. Wonder Woman is not the first film featuring a strong woman; a woman we all look up to. Further, we define strong in a very restrictive way. Strong = physically and mentally resilient. Yet our favourite male and female characters aren’t our favourites for these reasons. And Wonder Woman is no exception. We love her because she’s motivated by her beliefs; we love her because at the core of her strength is her compassion. We laugh with how out of touch she is with the human world but we adore her passion for saving the human world she doesn’t perfectly fit into. She’s not a “feminist” character because she exceeds the strength of any man, she’s a “feminist” character because of her beliefs.
Even if the wonder Diana Prince and film in general does wonders for feminism (and it does), it does have its faults. Originally, Diana’s competence is questioned by Steve and other men in the film. Soon they realise their mistake, but the focus on gender is a little unsettling. Further, her looks are often referenced, even though she is brilliant, intelligent and caring. All in all, however, Wonder Woman presents an independent woman who we admire (just like other female characters entirely unlike her).
The film is jam-packed with everything we love about superhero movies. Action and the whole Good Vs. Evil war. Love and friendship. KAPOWs and BAMs. And while it is not the first female-led film (or even superhero film), it is paving the way for a future in film we all want. Women fighting Hollywood’s archaic structure like the Amazonian warriors.
~ Kat ~