I loved Lynda Carter’s Wonder Woman as a child; she was so glamorous, smart and kick-arse. I’m mentioning this, of course, because I went to see Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman on Friday.
I wasn’t concerned, as many people appeared to be, about whether this would be another DC movie disaster – because I thought Wonder Woman was the best part of Batman vs Superman. Yes, that didn’t guarantee anything, except that I was all confidence Gal Gadot could carry off the character. I was not wrong, not even a little bit!
So much more than a movie
But I don’t do movie reviews, so what’s this really about? It was a great movie, the right amount of levity and gravity – and a bit of comic book cheesiness to boot. Add in Princess Buttercup’s (Robin Wright) transformation into an Amazonian general and what was not to like about the whole thing.
For me though, I felt a little like a teenager watching it; reliving my previous love of the character with this new incarnation. That wasn’t a conscious thought until one moment of the movie brought tears to my eyes. One cinematic moment that evoked a long-held desire to be strong, take charge and fight for what’s right. It’s the moment in the trench when we see Wonder Woman in her full glory for the first time; climbing out of the British trench to cross no man’s land to save the townspeople captured by the Germans.
I wish I could bottle that feeling, for all the times I don’t feel as strong and confident as I should – for myself and every other female.
It’s amazing how a few seconds of cinema can evoke memories and feelings with such intensity. Of course, we all have a handful of these cinematic moments in our lives – moments so strong they stay with us for years. I now have a new one, and I love that it came from the first female-led superhero movie – that it came from Wonder Woman.
It’s like that scene closed a loop from my childhood, a loop that I didn’t realise was still open. I can’t wait to see where they take the character.
The importance of strong women
For you, it might simply be a movie – you might not even enjoy it. But I know I’m not the only person who has appreciated the movie not only for what it is, but for the memories and emotions it evokes. I’m not going to get all feminist ranty in here – but the fact remains that it is important for girls (and women) to see women represented like this in our entertainment. The same is true of any minority group that is under-represented or misrepresented in our various entertainment mediums. It’s important for us all to see images and representations of ‘people like us’ doing extraordinary things, rather than the ordinary portrayals.
And I know we have a lot more of that now – look at the kick-arse female characters in Game of Thrones, The Walking Dead, Vikings, the Marvel universe, to name but a few. All of these have great representations of strong females, but there is something different about Wonder Woman. Maybe it’s the fact she was a childhood hero for me, but I think it’s something different. She’s the whole package (strong, intelligent, righteous, logical and a bit indestructible) who refuses to accept the exclusion of male society, or the limitations they place on what can and cannot be achieved.
Of course, not everyone will agree with this, and that’s fine. But I aspire to all her positive traits, and that climbing out of the trenches scene reminded me of that fact – it reminded me of the importance of her, and the impact she had on me as a child. Regardless of whether you liked it or not, I hope you agree that a successful, female-led, superhero movie is a long-needed shift in the landscape.
How about you? Have you seen it? What did you think? What are your cinematic moments that evoke emotion and are part of your life now?