With Wonder Woman being released digitally on iTunes and other places this week, I thought this was a good opportunity to take another look at the character of Diana. How she’s portrayed in the film, in other media, and the importance the character should play in our pop culture, especially now.
What made Wonder Woman DC’s most successful film thus far, at least creatively, is that the film understood what the Marvel films seemed to have understood from the beginning: character is everything. Marvel understands their heroes backwards and forwards and up until Wonder Woman, it wasn’t clear if DC really KNEW who their characters were and what makes them tick. Regardless of what else they have going on, they nailed Wonder Woman in that department. She was a beautifully realized character on screen.
Filmmaking is a collaboration, but I’m going to give credit to director Patty Jenkins and star Gal Gadot for making this character work so well. Diana is many things, some of them are contradictions. She a warrior and ambassador for peace. She’s a friend, a lover, a mother figure. She’s strong, compassionate, loyal, and resolute. Oh, and she’s also a complete fucking bad ass. These are tough things to make work on screen. But by coming from a place of character first, Patty Jenkins and Gal Gadot gave us the perfect Wonder Woman. Regardless of where the DC Extended Universe goes from here, we will always have this beautiful, stand alone Wonder Woman film.
(I mean, JESUS CHRIST! She even makes BATMAN her bitch)
I’m always fascinated how news and important events in the real world are reflected in our popular culture. I wish there were more characters like Wonder Woman on film and TV. Someone who embodies both strength and compassion, someone who espouses tolerance and love. I know I’d like to see more of that on my TV every day. Wonder Woman reminds us all that we can be BETTER.
It’s interesting that Diana is the DC character on screen right now that most embodies the concept of HOPE. Hope is usually the domain of the Last Son of Krypton, Superman. After all, that isn’t an S on his chest, its Kryptonian, the symbol of The House EL, it means hope.
I really hope they eventually nail the character of Superman like the nailed Wonder Woman. I think the problem is that most people agree who Diana is and what she’s all about. I don’t think that’s neccesarily the case for the Man of Steel. For a lot of writers out there, Christopher Reeve and everything his Superman was, is all that Superman should be. I not only vehemently disagree, I believe this thinking hurts the character. My Superman will always be the guy from Bruce Timm’s Superman: The Animated Series and the subsequent Justice League shows. The Superman of Man of Steel was a little closer to that guy, which is one of the reasons I like that film.
Anyway, I’ve got Wonder Woman on as I’m writing this piece and for now it’s nice to have one undeniably great stand alone DC film.
Diana’s message regardless of the medium is a powerful one: love, acceptance, equality, and compassion. When I watch the news, that’s not the world I see, I wish it was. Encourage your friends who haven’t seen Wonder Woman to give it a try. Because if even a little piece of Diana seeps into their subconscious, who knows? Maybe they’ll try a little harder to exhibit some of Diana’s wonderful attributes I was talking about earlier. Since the world can be a pretty scary place these days, that idea, that possibility, makes me feel just a little bit better. She came her to save “Man’s World”. Let’s ALL beat her to it…