Thursday, June 01, 2017

beyond wonders

After 75 years since its inception in comic book form, we are finally blessed with a “Wonder Woman” movie. And in a milieu that often witnesses several remakes of Batman, Superman, and Spider-Man, it is refreshing that Patty Jenkins—a female director no less—finally gets the superheroine to the silver screen and gets it right. Here is a straight-up origin story; how a young resolute Amazon in mythical island nation of Themyscira becomes Diana Prince in hideous First World War-era London and ultimately becomes the savior that the story requires (and the whole Justice League narrative in the coming years). The narrative is precise, and it is a film not beleaguered by beautiful but incoherent moments, the same moments that bog down “Man of Steel” [2013], “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice” [2016], and “Suicide Squad” [2016]. Credit goes to Gal Gadot who embodies Wonder Woman’s intelligence and naiveté, royalty and athleticism so effortlessly. She is born for this role. All of these traits make for a perfect foil to Chris Pine’s spirited, believably charismatic Steve Trevor. I also think this is the first time in a long while in a superhero movie that a group of women in tight and curiously skin-baring armours never felt gratuitous and vulgar, with not a single shot lingering on cleavages and derrieres. Instead, the film focuses—quite unbelievably because it has never been portrayed that way until today—on these women’s wit, strength, and above all, compassion. The past DC films have been aggressive with their philosophy, masculinity, and pandering sulkiness, as if everyone has gone cold and dead inside. But “Wonder Woman” goes the other route. Although it is not a perfect route, especially the latter part's CGI bonanza, it reaches its goal in making a necessary and relevant hero: that one needs to have heart, even in a time of hate and deception. It is a film (not just a superhero film) that is surely remembered for its message, not its minor flaws. Simply put, this film is way “above average.” If you know what I mean. 

[ image borrowed from this site ]

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