Wonder Woman is a Monumental Film. But is It a Great One?

Gal Gadot as wonder woman

On January 3rd, Wonder Woman director Patty Jenkins will be presented with Variety’s Creative Impact in Directing Award. Actor Gal Gadot, who portrays the titular superhero in DC movie universe will give the prize to the director at the 2018 Palm Springs International Film Festival (PSIFF).

Wonder Woman is a monumental film for women. Probably the most crucial feminist film of the year 2017, which was the year of feminist uprising all over the world.

What better film than Wonder Woman, to represent the heroic rise of women power in this year.

But to say that it worked simply because it was the first decent female superhero movie in ages (and DC did it before Marvel did!) would take away credit given to everyone behind this project.

It’s a good film, probably not a great one.

The action sequences are superb, and you cannot take your eyes off Gal Gadot, who brings a persona of her own to the film. But we are used to better story arcs and plot points. Though it is difficult to find faults in the treatment of the film, hence with Patty’s work. Her vision for the character, and its beliefs, is the strongest point of the film. It celebrates the very femininity of the character which has been its biggest weakness. The film’s writing though, leaves a lot to be desired.

However, the fault does not lie with the writers entirely. Their inspiration was a comic book character of an Amazonian princess with thunder thighs, who wears a little dress and wields a lasso, to straighten out big bad boys.

All the previous works created on Wonder Woman have failed to establish her as something more than a cartoonist’s sexual dream.

Thankfully this time women in the movie were not just sexual props.

They have meatier roles as compared to men. They are trained fighters, with a legacy and principles. Thus it was a let down that we got so little of the badass Amazonian warrior clan. Gal Gadot put her heart into the well-choreographed action sequences. Patty Jenkins made sure that the camera stayed on her face. Rather than on her buttocks and breasts. But that ending was such a let-down. That and the lack of a convincing antagonist. A good superhero movie becomes a great one, when it has a memorable antagonist (think Joker and Loki) who drives the superhero to the end of his or her wits.

Thus, the film would have been more effective if the plot did not revolve around the god of war and how killing him could stop the First World War One. Erm…a little far-fetched even by the superhero universe standards.

Do these faults make Wonder Woman’s achievements any less? Definitely not. But it does raise the bar for its sequel. We hope that just like this film had its heart at the right place, the sequel will wow us with its content as well. Hopefully, the franchise will not disappoint us, and it set a benchmark for all coming superhero films.

Picture Credit: thewrap

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Dr Yamini Pustake Bhalerao is a writer with the SheThePeople team, in the Opinions section.  The views expressed are author’s own.