Reviewing Wonder Woman – Instant Appreciation, Delayed Appraisal

It happened, I finally saw Wonder Woman!

In order to see this movie, just so it would not be completely sold out, I had to go midday on a Saturday during perfect beach weather in L.A. 6 weeks after it premiered. I went to the theater alone, which was probably for the best because my emotions during the movie ranged anywhere from sobbing wreck to aggressively proud woman to childlike awe and wonderment. If it’s hard to tell, I had a pretty positive reaction to the movie. Seeing a heroine whose strength and beauty wasn’t sexualized during the 120 minutes she was on screen was a first for me. The imagery of Diana, Wonder Woman, charging the front line in France…well let’s just say that was when sobbing wreck and aggressively proud woman merged into one emotional experience.

I could talk about how amazing I thought this movie was for days, I think because of the unique nature of this film it could become a kind of blueprint for more socially conscious movies to come. Instead, I want to focus on the other ways in which it could have been even more kickass. To gain more perspective on this film I went online and searched for articles and opinions different from mine. Several days and many articles later, I feel there are several aspects regarding representation and inclusivity that could have been improved upon in Wonder Woman:

  1. Although the subtle diversity of the amazonian women was appreciated, there could have been a wider range of ethnic & racial diversity in the movie. Incorporating Asians and Latinas and other women of color would have provided better representation of what our world actually looks like. If the hidden island of Themyscira was a real place I would expect it would have women of all cultural backgrounds, races, and ethnicities living there. Studies have shown that diversity in people, brings diversity of thought, pushing companies to thrive. It would makes sense for that school of thought to apply to a society of female warriors as well.
  2. I also would have loved to see a greater variation in body types and shapes. I understand they are amazon women who historically have a more slender and muscular body type, but inclusion matters and heavier/curvier women could have been embraced just a little bit more. I think it needs to be said that an athletic build is not the only way to be strong.
  3. Diana’s caretaker didn’t need to be brown. Period.
  4. It was nice to see a more diverse casting of men, however, giving the lead role to Chris Pine and then having his close sidekick buddies be men of color feels overdone. I would like to see a major motion picture cast a man of color as their romantic lead without it being a political statement. The “person of color sidekick” role needs to be demolished because it’s just played out and offensive.
  5. I thought the decision to cast the main villain in the movie as a brilliant, female, scientist was excellent. However, she didn’t need to be disfigured. The ugly, disfigured, and older female villain is cliché. The association we have between beauty being the main attribute that is linked with goodness does a disservice to us all. It is outdated and should be forgotten.
  6. Lastly, I’d like to acknowledge Gal Gadot’s personal political views. I emphasize personal because I do not believe this film maintains or is associated with her support of Israel or the IDF (Israeli Defense Forces). I think it is important to mention this so that we can recognize reasons why her portrayal of Wonder Woman may not be the universal feminist hero western women see her as.

With all of that being said, I stand by this movie. It is quite literally one of a kind and I highly recommend it. These types of films matter because they show positive representations of underrepresented female archetypes. I think it is possible to make Wonder Woman belong to a cannon of movies that can change our perspectives and give life to new types of heroes.

* Photo courtesy Warner Bros. Pictures, the publisher of the film or the graphic artist used under the Creative Commons license.

** Editors Note:
Wonder Woman will be available on Ultra HD Blu-ray, 3D Blu-ray, Blu-ray, and DVD on September 19th and will be released on Digital HD on August 29th.

Jessica Camille is an aspiring writer and performer living in L.A. Her passions include civil rights, chocolate chip cookies, and yoga. You can follow Jessica Camille on Instagram.

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