By Pratishtha Dobhal
Growing up with the boys (my tribe of cousins), even though I never had a superhero costume like my brothers’, I’d make my peace in a swimsuit and a cape, whizzing past dumbstruck uncles and aunts, imagining I’d soon develop some superhero abilities by the sheer power of silent prayers.
Sometimes, I would be’ Fantomah, Mystery Woman Of The Jungle’ and sometimes, Wonder Woman. Almost at all times, I was trying to unearth superpowers that would put me in the same league as Batman or Tarzan. As an eight-year-old ‘tomboy’ with scraped knees and clutz for a middle name, I would naturally gravitate towards the adventure and thrill of exploring the unknown.
If the boys could do it, so could I.
Fast forward to 2017, my eight-year-old self was mighty pleased, while my ‘adult’ self was pleasantly surprised, overwhelmed, and just a tad bit critical after her brush with the millennium re-interpretation of Wonder Woman, my childhood mate.
I had been waiting for the movie ever since the first trailer dropped in Feb, last year – the stylized battle scenes reminiscent of ‘300‘ with the conflict ridden setting of the second world war, decorated with a seemingly character driven protagonist, Wonder Woman was going to be everything I’d hope for it to be.
The plot was simple and straightforward – before she was Wonder Woman, she was Diana, princess of the Amazons and a trained warrior. When a pilot crashes and tells her of unrest and terror in the outside world, she leaves home to fight a war to end all wars, discovering her full powers and true destiny (*As posted on IMDB).
Unlike the origin story where the Queen of Amazons, Hippolyte (later changed to Hippolyta) sculpts the original Wonder Woman out of the clay soil of Paradise Island, in the DC rebooted version you learn that Diana is indeed the biological child of Hippolyta and Zeus. Ares, God of War, has been systematically destroying the gods of Olympus so Hippolyta decides to hide the truth to protect Diana from Ares. While in the movie, Paradise island is built by Zeus, in the comics it’s Athena’s doing.
Although the screenplay naturally adapts to celluloid, deviating and evolving to fit the screen-time of two-hours-twenty-one-minutes, a comic book aficionado will notice the subtle differences in the plot. On the other hand, a CGI lover who likes to see seamless recreations without noise and poorly rendered computer generated special effects is bound to notice the cartoonish show-down between Wonder Woman and Ares. Even though I did find the lack of consistency slightly menacing in parts and wished the bad-ass training scenes before Paradise Island was discovered was given more love, the film kept me engaged throughout.
It’s formulaic with a genuine chemistry between Chris Pine and Gal Gadot, and a supporting cast that stays true to character sketches. Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman is true to form. She never loses her feminine charm even when she is in the thick of action sequences and back-breaking stunts – a quality only a superhero/heroine can have.
Even though the naivety that Diana shows in believing that hate can be conquered by love seems misplaced in a very cynical world, Wonder Woman does manage to ignite the kind of re-enforcement every girl/woman needs right now – She can be the change.
Director Patty Jenkins (Monster) and her crew have already made box office history after clocking the biggest opening over the weekend for a woman director. A huge breakthrough for female leads and stories that have been traditionally deemed as ‘not profitable enough’ by studio heads.
With superb comic timing and a female superhero who doesn’t take herself too seriously, the movie delightfully strays from convention with incredible finesse. Watch it because it’s totally worth your time 🙂
OK Rating: 8.5/10
P.S… More power to YOU 😉