Patty Jenkis’s Wonder Woman (2017) Movie Review
Movie Review: Wonder Woman
Star Cast: Gal Gadot, Chris Pine, Robin Wright, Connie Neilson, Elena Anaya and David Thewlis
Music Composed by Rupert Gregson – Williams
Cinematography by Matthew Jensen
Edited by Martin Walsh
Directed by Patty Jenkis
“I walked away from mankind from a century of horrors. Men made a world where standing together is impossible.” ~ Wonder Woman, Batman Vs Superman
In BVS, Lex Luthor has been trying to unlock the knowledge of gods and planning to use that knowledge for his own selfish reasons. With Wonder Woman, Diana is literally revealed as God and she is always trying to keep Lex Luthor from finding out more about world secrets like…
- Secrets of the nature (Gods & Monsters from myths from exist)
- She doesn’t want to get dragged into human conflicts (Where her presence will cause more trouble than good)
- She wants to protect mother and sisters of Themyscira
Therefore, trying to find out how much Lex Luthor knew about her true identity, she has been trying to find the original photo print from the World War 1 to preserve her secret identity (& for some personal reason of course!!). This standalone movie begins at the Louvre, (Shockingly!! Even after BVS events, she is still working in the museum rather moving away) where she receives the original photograph that Lux Luthor had a scan of. Through the photograph, Diana is transported back to her origin. In much the same vein as Batman Begins, where we have the opportunity to see the origins of the hero.
So, from the script stage Wonder Woman is a character drawn from many parallel Super hero origins. Yet, she is unique in her own way. We can draw a parallel to Super man from her story. Super man is an alien whose gratitude towards the Human love and care after his world banished him keeps him the servant of Humanity, who believes in innate love and respect. On the other hand, Wonder Woman is also an alien to human race. She is an amazonian, A God created to destroy the war. As she learns through her journey, Humanity or any race does the battles of supremacy within and there is no absolute good and bad, line drawn like in a child’s heart. This is all grey and as Diana accepts that towards the end how destruction can only be cured by love, she along with us hopes for love to prevail over imaginary boundaries.
This is where Petty Jenkins and her team of writers, surprisingly, Zack Snyder, too try to bring this aspect of her story into light rather than trying to force feed that she is a super hero and as a superhero she can do anything. The difference between a Nolan superhero premise, a Zack Snyder premise is that, Nolan believed in making a superhero and a villain both trying to be the agents of destruction while who understands the careful line of difference stays on top of the other. If you remember, Joker‘s monologue from The Dark Knight to Batman and Two face where he carefully tries to state the obvious, “We’re Freaks for them!” Yes, Batman a rich geeky freak who has tendency to fly and fetish to solve a crime uses disguise and deception as his weapons. They are qualities of destruction too. That’s the line what Zack Snyder misses and surprisingly even though he is a story writer here, Petty Jenkins is able carve a film, that provides a happy union of both worlds. Still, one does feel Snyder premise of heavy de-saturation and mega destruction with VFX, as a big disappointment after so much real-world building and character growth, we feel that is negligible and enjoy the good part of it too.
Coming to performances, Israeli actress Gal Gadot is perfect as Diana of the Themyscira, bringing the prosopopoeial of beauty with grace and actress has a strong grasp on the role that will become definitive for some time to come. This is the role she was born to play. The moment of frivolity is welcome here as Diana’s confusion at the modern world and a women’s place (Why are women treated like second class/Slave??) in it is both interesting and funny. There isn’t a reason for that other than the old standby “It’s the way things are…”. Wonder Woman was by far the best thing about BVS and will likely also dominate the upcoming Justice League. Chris Pine is most charming and the chemistry with Gal Gadot feels natural and garnered. They both carried the film when it became stifled within its own plot. The antagonist characters are execrably written, which includes disclosing Ares in a messy and CGI heavy climactic battle that’s too hard to care about.
Other technicalities, Cinematography looked great, capturing the Amazonean and 40’s London atmosphere. Coming to visual effects movie suffers from usual problems like, rushed Themiscyra sequences, the CG sometimes looks greenhorn reminds us of early 2000’s effects (which works in the film’s favour as it gives it a pulp mass flair) and the slow-motion sequences, Jenkins is compromised to maintain the Snyder placate and DCEU style in the crucial battle. The action sequences are pretty hit or miss. While “No Man’s Land” is incredible and much of the film has a very choppy styled editing that occasionally got on my nerves. Still whenever Wonder Woman Wrath theme starts to play, I got hyped.
Wonder Woman like many superhero origin stories has a set pattern but what reals wins us over is the purity in the character and storytelling as well. If you follow our mythology then you will identify that Karna’s birth story and Vinayaka’s birth story are pretty closely used in this. Well, ancient Greek mythology is always there to be and even in the way the story tries to imagine a god killer to end all War, Ares equates to the story of Kalki and Kali end story predicted by our mythology. This is just to intercept an American superhero to our roots as well. Anyways, the movie tries to hold up to the DC Universe style that has been set nicely by Nolan brothers rather than trying to follow Snyder’s desaturated and unimaginative fight a second scene style. An impressive Superhero movie that sets up it’s character just like Captain America, the First Avenger! Go and enjoy it!
Side note: (Spoiler) if you observe, in the end even Wonder Woman becomes the agent of destruction gleefully and in a way, Ares does win, yet losses as love prevails!