Wonder Woman

Film Review |By Christian Tesfaye - Exclusive to Fortune

As entertaining as Wonder Woman is, it is at the end of the day a superhero movie, therefore with all its clichés and dead ends, according to Christian Tesfaye. 6 out of 10 stars

Women – men love to love them. They are perhaps the only constant reminders that despite all the gross inconveniences men face every day, life is still worth it. Almost all of art is built around the theme of the male counterpart trying to explain his relationship with his mother, sister and most often his female partner.

But I have always wondered do the women feel the same way about men?

Facing the facts, men are not the best examples of their species. Since time immemorial, man has been in charge of the planet, managing its affairs, and its efforts have been largely disastrous. All man seems to have given the world is pain and suffering.

Men are egotistical, ugly and ad lib. And if it were not for man, Darwin would never have figured out that human beings were formerly apes.

It was World War II that brought the world to its senses. More men than ever went overseas for a battle for the soul of the planet. Back home, someone had to take over the chores, by which I mean, the factories and institutions that keep a nation alive.

When the war ended, those women kept on working, instead of relinquishing their seats to male equivalents. Ever since, they have had more say in society, the economy, politics and world affairs. And the planet has been far more stable, democratic and peaceful than ever. But I am sure ultraconservatives would say this was just a coincidence.

Wonder Woman is the new superhero movie from DC Comics. She is unique in that she is a woman. Of course, there have been others before, namely Black Widow from the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU).

Nevertheless, Black Widow has not to date gotten a movie of her own. Wonder Woman is still not the first female superhero to have done so. There is Cat Woman, starring Halle Berry, but that movie was so woefully bad, we all agreed long ago to forget it ever happened.

So, what universe does Wonder Woman belong to?

In mainstream Hollywood, there are two popular superhero universes. One belongs to Marvel and the other to DC Comics. What is known as the MCU is currently the more popular and by far most profitable one.

The Avengers, X-Men and the Guardians of the Galaxy all belong to the MCU. That means, the characters from these franchises can run into each other. On the other hand, the DC universe comprises some of the most famous cultural phenomena, like Superman and Batman.

Wonder Woman opens by alluding to DC’s all-encompassing universe. Diana (Gal Gadot), who has helped Superman and Batman defeat a big bad monster in Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice, receives a mysterious suitcase from Bruce Wayne.

In it, there is a photo, and in the photograph, there is Diana posing with four other men. Judging by their outfits and the state of the photo, the setting must have been the 1910s.

The photo takes Diana way, way back. She was born a princess, but not necessarily born. She was instead sculpted out of clay by her mother and given life to by Zeus. She is part of a race of tall, gorgeous women called the Amazons, who live on an island training themselves for war and battle. No man is allowed. Probably for that reason, they live in peace and prosperity.

Steve Trevor (Chris Pine) is a British spy with a major piece of information about research the Kaiser’s Germans are carrying out. By accident, he stumbles upon Diana’s utopian island, and chaos immediately follows him.

Diana immediately learns of the state the world outside her is in. World War I is raging, and Diana is immediately convinced that at the middle of all the pandemonium is Ares, who according to her, is the root of all evil. She leaves her island planning to find him with the help of Steve – what she discovers is her place among mankind as Wonder Woman.

There is something so utterly beautiful about a woman standing her ground in the middle of a war. In every fight scene, Wonder Woman shines. She is constantly in the middle of the frame, and her costumes are brightly coloured. Her skin is always fair, no matter what, while everyone around her – almost all of them men – is dirty and gritty.

She is, throughout the entire movie, bathed in fiery colour, while everyone else is either out of focus or almost in black and white. Such a composition suggests that while a strong independent woman will perpetually be the future, chaos and destruction are the past.

There is warmness to this movie. Diana plays the part of both mother and partner. She is very caring. Unlike any other superhero we have seen before, she

weeps. She does not take human cruelty in stride the way her male superhero counterparts do. She forgives when she has to. At the same time, Wonder Woman is also incredibly attractive, with looks that can woo a homosexual.

As entertaining as the movie is, there are certain things I could not forgive. The third act was terrible, especially the climax where scenes and shots have been edited haphazardly. And though the dialogue does not entirely sicken, it does get preachy at times.


Gadot’s performance could also have been better. But most damning is the genre itself, which in its very makeup makes the film completely predictable. Wonder Woman, even with a socially responsible message, the apt score and an utterly cool female lead, is at the end of the day a superhero movie, with all the clichés and dead ends one entails.

Published on Jun 10,2017 [ Vol 18 ,No 893]



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