If Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned, what would it be like when Wonder Woman is scorned, i couldn’t but help feel curious. So here goes.
The weekend past turned out to be one of tough choices for the cinephile in me when i had to decide between a movie with a female super villain and one with a female super hero lead.At the risk of being branded a chauvinist and a misogynist i admit that i had held out from watching the latter for a week but when the going gets tough, the tough gets going and thats how i ended up going to a show of Wonder Woman at the multiplex around the corner and i swear that it had nothing to do with the fact that my wife wanted to watch it too.
The internet would have you believe that though DC has two of the greatest superheroes to ever don a cape in its camp, it took Wonder Woman to restore faith in the DC Universe and save it from sinking into oblivion cinematically.Though this is indeed the “post-truth”, so to speak, in these times of paid news, fake news and online promotions when even established media houses can’t tell a genuine story from an ad campaign,i couldn’t but help feel that something was rotten in the state of California,Hollywood to be specific.The kind of gushing reviews that are doing rounds were conspicuous by absence when a genuinely female centric film like Hidden Figures hit the screens.Yeah apples and oranges, i know but if you think i am exaggerating, the fact that DC had the clout to convince the United Nations to appoint Wonder Woman as an honorary ambassador for women’s empowerment last year is proof enough.Come to think of it, though UN withdrew the announcement after drawing considerable flak from all quarters, the timing of the declaration and DC’s campaign sounds more like an ambitious marketing ploy rather than a coincidence.
When i finally did got around to watching the movie, i realized that cinematic swindle that unfolded before my eyes was second only to what the makers of Twenty Twenty did to Mammootty, if you know what i am talking about, but then you don’t.Gal Godot’s Wonder Woman stays true the original comic strip character traits, making her an embodiment of innocence, honor and of course superhuman skills but she ends up using these mostly in the realm of fantasy fighting mythical villains while the real world is actually saved by Chris Pine’s Steve Trevor.
In fact you have to be ignorant beyond measure not to notice that its Steve Trevor who saves the day and in fact dons the thinking cap on more than one occasion.Though you could argue that i have gotten it all wrong and that the film is exactly how its supposed to be, for a character being marketed as a feminist icon, it did look more than a bit odd to me.
Patty Jenkins helmed Charlize Theron’s Oscar vehicle which i have watched in only bits and parts but i am familiar with her work in the remake of the scandinavian series ,The Killing, which again featured a female lead and was an engaging watch with some truly unique characterizations.The Swedes and the Danes have always been miles ahead of Hollywood when it comes to ground breaking concepts and breaking gender barriers on screen, The Millennium trilogy and The Bridge to name a few.
This may sound like a ploy of mine to win over the animal lovers now that i have invoked the wrath of feminists rather Wonder Woman fangirls, but i have to say that the honor for greatest no man’s land run on screen belongs to War Horse and not Wonder Woman.And if you think that no female lead has kicked ass in a movie like Wonder Woman did, you obviously haven’t seen Lisbeth Salander in action and she doesn’t need magical bracelets either.Pepper spray, she makes do with.