A Shower of the Soul
By Thomas Gramstad
So finally the Wonder Woman movie with Gal Gadot hit the biggest
and best movie screen around here.
Common sense has it that you should not allow your expectations
to grow huge, because then you will always be disappointed.
Instead, keep your expectations low, and all surprises will be
positive and enhancing. Well, I tried, but I just couldn’t do it.
After all, I’ve been waiting for this moment for two years. No,
actually, I’ve been waiting for this my whole life.
A CONCERTO OF DELIVERANCE
And the film delivered. Great story and characterization. Very
touching and heartwarming acting, the boundless charisma of Gal
Gadot. The brutality of war, the loss of worldly innocence but
maintaining moral innocence, the character development. The
combination of a powerful goddess-like hero discovering her
powers while at the same time struggling with issues and lies
transferred from her dysfunctional, overbearing single mother.
The contrast of the beauty of the Amazon island and the battle
ground of the first world war. The almost-philosophical treatment
of transcending dualities, accepting the existence of light and
darkness, strengths and flaws co-existing in humans — this is
not only an action movie, but a superhero action movie no less,
and yet they find a way to throw the main character into
existential deep waters like this, where the temptation to stick
to the simple good-evil duality of childhood is very great and
clearly embodied and expressed — with the fate of the world
hanging in the balance. How personal honor and compassion, and
being able to see the whole picture, defeat simplistic dualism.
For me the very best part is the perfect unity of unlimited
badassery and total moral innocence. This has always been the
core of Wonder Woman, and the film expresses it fully, with all
details building, serving and creating this reality — while
avoiding both grave pompousness and kitschy self-irony.
It feels like a shower of the soul.
The sheer cocky innocence of the main character is such a perfect
dovetail match with the sense of humor in the movie — the
hilarious and ruthless exposure of the Victorian alienation from
women’s physicality, prowess and excellence. This aspect alone…
I could watch that every day for 500 years and still not grow
tired of it.
And the character is treated totally serious all the way. There
is no “we don’t really mean it” self-irony. The humor is an aide
to the characterization, not a way of undercutting it.
RECLAIMING THE AMAZON ARCHETYPE
This film will be loved for a long time, and will inspire many
girls. And boys. Basically everyone who is in search of a highly
accomplished and spiritually integrated artistic embodiment of
Or, going back in time to some words from William Moulton
Marston, the creator of Wonder Woman:
“Not even girls want to be girls so long as our feminine
archetype lacks force, strength, and power. Not wanting to be
girls, they don’t want to be tender, submissive, peace-loving as
good women are. Women’s strong qualities have become despised
because of their weakness. The obvious remedy is to create a
feminine character with all the strength of Superman plus all the
allure of a good and beautiful woman.”
Some people believe that Victorianism is a thing of the past,
that somehow promiscuity, pornography and the hippie era took out
Victorianism. They didn’t, and it isn’t gone. The most
fundamental thing that Victorianism stole away from us is the
Amazon Archetype — images and expressions of the female hero.
While the recovery of the woman warrior and female heroism is
underway, we still have a long way to go to. This film
illustrates that Wonder Woman remains an important part of the
recovery process, on so many levels.
The main characters of the film will have the last word — for
Steve Trevor: What is this place? Who are you people?
Diana Prince: We are a bridge to a greater understanding.