When the credits ran through the screen and Gal Gadot spoke her last words as Wonder Woman, tears streamed down my eyes as I recounted what I just watched. What. Did. I. Just. Watch.
I knew this movie was going to be huge.
I knew Gal Gadot was going to shatter expectations.
I knew Wonder Woman would crush female superhero stigma.
But not like this. Not like this.
Wonder Woman blew out it of the water and perfectly nailed, the very meaning of what it means to be a woman. It was so impeccably done, that words do not do it justice, but let me paint this canvas the way that I see it.
At the end of the movie, I turned to see my mother sobbing silently beside me. The next couple of minutes (which turned into hours) were followed by strong feminist monologues pouring out from her, overflowing the years of suppression she may have experienced. I started at her in disbelieve. My mother was never an ardent feminist. At that moment a thought occurred to me: could that lack of identity be due to an absence of representation of women and therefore a lack of education on feminism?
Yes, Wonder Woman is the first of a Superhero female lead in our generation. But it’s not simply that. It does not replace a man with a woman following the same script as any other superhero film. It completely unearths what it means to be a woman. Patty Jenkins (Director) and the writers grasp that being a woman actually changes the way one handles situations and challenges. The movie uncovers the responsibilities and ethical moral dilemmas mixed in with compassion and love each woman faces on a daily basis. Diana Prince has super strength. Yet her strength is not solely her physical force. More than that, it emanates from within. That’s what makes her unbeatable: her values and her ability to feel and love, no matter the consequences – a trait I find to be predominantly female.
Unlike regular superhero movies W.W. does not emphasize “right vs. wrong” but rather, explores the philosophy that all human beings are neither bad nor good. Nothing is black or white. There is no “bad guy”. We all have a bad guy within us and naturally, a good guy in us too. Wonder Woman stresses the absolute humanity of us all; how in the end, being human is our greatest weakness and simultaneously, our greatest strength.
Similarly, the message of love underlined in the movie is an extremely relevant and necessary one. In a world filled with instability, pain, hatred, crime, terrorism, corruption, manipulation and greed, a message of light and generosity can penetrate and transform the very fabric of our reality.
What I love most about the W.W. movie is that although her strength comes from a place of love and light, she remains a fighter. Sometimes in the world we live in when hate overpowers, we believe love will heal. But it is enough? Wonder Woman teaches us that one must be a warrior. We must fight for light, love and goodness. We cannot be passive in the fight for humanity; we must be warriors on the front lines for the light.
My mom cried at the end of the movie because for once she saw someone she could aspire to be. She saw a true representation of women. Wonder Woman has managed to do what I couldn’t in all my 22 years: convince my mother that feminism is a positive and necessary ideology. The best part is: it will continue to do so for thousands of other women. It will continue to empower, inspire and motivate women to live out to their full potential.
Finally, when I asked my dad what he thought about the movie, he responded that he loved it but did not understand why all the women in my family were completely mesmerized. He couldn’t understand perhaps because for him, every other superhero movie (or movie in general) gives him the ability to dream… But this time it was our time to aspire, and woman- did it make us proud.