*Please halt if you haven’t watched Wonder Woman yet! This contains spoilers.
(Header Image Source: http://www.kadacinemas.com/news/wonder-woman-2017/)
My Mom and I recently watched Wonder Woman (2017)! Here are some of the things that I learned and loved from the film:
1. It’s not what we deserve but what we believe.
In the climax, Ares said to Diana how evil human beings can be and that they didn’t deserve her at all. But she still tried to save everybody in the end.
Yes, people having being drawn to fight and wage wars against each other may not be worthy of saving, yet Diana thought otherwise, because she believed in how people can be capable of goodness and love.
She saw it in Steve, their companions, and the people in the village.
Because of the example of these people she got close with during her journey in finding Ares, she knew of the potential. She believed they are worthy of saving, worthy of her after all.
This led me to thinking too of Jesus’ salvation for us. We certainly did not deserve Him at all. We deserved to die on the cross, yet He took the death that was supposed to be ours. He believed we can change.
2. We all have good and bad inside.
Diana thought that killing Ares (then General Ludendorff) would stop the Great War, would stop the people from sending off the plane that carried the fatal gas. When she did kill Ludendorff, nothing happened at all. The people proceeded to prepare.
And like what Steve said when they both got to talk afterwards, he wished he could say that it would all stop because of just one man’s death, but no.
Though Ares was the one who brought “inspiration” to Ludendorff and to Dr. Poison, these people still had the choice to turn back.
Everybody has free will to take upon goodness or evil. We must be accountable for each of our choices whether they are good or bad. Of course, may we all strive for good. May we all strive to love and end the cycle of hate.
Diana too, instead of succumbing to Ares’ offer of building a new world together without the humans, knew better. To be part of Ares’ world meant having to get rid of the humans whom she have gotten to know already, and she didn’t believe in that but in what was just, good, and true.
3. Innocence over cynicism.
Themyscira was like Paradise – no evil lurked there. Diana lived and grew there, sheltered by Queen Hippolyta.
At first, she didn’t want Diana to train, but Antiope said that to train was the only way for her to be truly protected. Although Diana remained mostly in Themyscira, which is kind of a utopia for the Amazons and not learning much of the outside world, she was still educated and trained heavily as well.
She also thought that Ares was the one behind the corruption of human hearts, so she believed that if the god of war is taken down, people will stop the fighting.
When she came to London and got to see first-hand the horridness, trauma, injuries, and deaths of war, she was more determined to find, fight, and put an end to Ares.
When she, Steve, and her companions are near No Man’s Land, a woman got her attention and asked for her help. They had no more food and needed help. Diana wanted to help them, but Steve said no.
That they needed to proceed.
That she cannot save everybody.
Diana responds though that she knows that, but it’s what she’s going to do.
And her brave act of trying, of displaying such astounding heroism, of unknowingly proving the strength in her innocence from the evils of war, gave way for the Allies to go through No Man’s Land.
That was her initial reveal as Wonder Woman, defender of the people.
That was a favorite part of mine, for it showed how her innocence and lack of knowledge and experience of the outside world helped in getting through the danger. Innocence, in the way that, she did not let the current reality waver her resolve to save people. Her belief and faith in humankind and her redeeming it was pure rather than cynical.
(Here’s an article too from Relevant Magazine which helped me realize that important lesson from the movie. It’s an insightful read!)
4. Mercy saves and may help an evil heart turn good.
Nearing the end of the movie, Ares brought over Dr. Poison, sitting vulnerably in front of Wonder Woman, carrying in her arms a big tank. Ares told Diana that the doctor was the perfect example of the corrupted human beings, wanting to start destruction over everything.
The god of war urged her to kill Dr. Poison.
As her mask was removed by Ares, we see the wounds of the woman. She looked at Diana with a look of wanting, needing forgiveness and mercy.
Diana truly showed wonder when she decided to not hurt the doctor. Any human, though whose wrongdoings may be great, does not deserve death.
She had mercy shown to Dr. Poison.
We also get to see the humanity and emotion in her, when Steve was talking to her in the gala. Maybe because of the war and the task she was doing for Ludendorff, she forgot her heart. She forgot goodness. She forgot what it was like to talk again and socialize with another person.
Somehow, I thought that she was already believing that someone did sincerely want to know her and her visions more, the way she looked at Steve.
Although we do not know if she did turn over a new leaf in the end, I hope she did. A person, no matter who great her sin is, can change for the better, if only just one person can show her grace and faith.
And that was Diana.
5. Compassion is a key trait of a heroine.
When I think of Wonder Woman, I think of compassion. Sometimes, it’s so easy to be cynical or indifferent.
She could have been when Ares was trying to persuade her, showing her the evil, destruction, and greed in man’s hearts.
Today, there are many conflicts happening around the world, and we must not turn a blind eye to the alarming situations, especially to the victims and the oppressed.
When Diana first talked to the woman before heading into No Man’s Land and when she told Steve that how could they forget the people who needed help, I saw how genuine she was. She knew she needed to help them, so she did, which resulted to her climbing up the ladder, drawing fire from the opponents across several hundred meters.
In the village too, after taking down the sniper, we see her smile seeing the celebrations of the people living there. She was happy to be of service to them.
That’s another thing too – service. She served these people, Steve Trevor and his companions too.
I loved too how she said that Charlie, the traumatized yet excellent marksman, should continue with them, because nobody would sing for them. War and the horrors that come after it truly haunted the man, and when they got to witness him singing again, they were happy. She was thoughtful and caring of the people she was with.
6. The affirmation of love as saving
Gal Gadot was amazing in her portrayal of Wonder Woman (she was even five months pregnant during filming!). She is truly charismatic, and it’s very hard to not like her as the female superhero. Add that to the fact that Patty Jenkins directed it. And Connie Nielsen too and Robin Wright. I knew so little of Wonder Woman before watching this film, except knowing that Lynda Carter being the one who starred in the 1970s TV series because my Mom used to watch that show! She told me that Wonder Woman mostly dealt with crooks there, unlike this 2017 film where we see her origins and her big fight against the god of war. (And the soundtrack!)
I loved how inspiring Wonder Woman was, and it’s refreshing to see a female superhero in the screens after male superheroes dominated it for years. If ever there was a woman in those movies, it was only a supporting role.
It could be the fact that Gal Gadot was perfect for the role, but I think it could also be because of what Wonder Woman believed in. And it’s something that not only girls could aspire to believe and carry but also boys. Everyone! Her message to moviegoers was one about how love prevails, and I whole-heartedly believe in that. Love over cynicism, love over indifference, love over conflict.
The movie was truly a great affirmation to what can truly save the world.
(I also loved how Diana cooed over a baby, bought ice cream too, and wanted to dance. Yes, you can be Wonder Woman and still delight over creamy ice cream!
It just felt so great to be a woman after watching this empowering movie. Which leads me to the last point –
7. True empowerment is partnership and teamwork.
I was happy to see that the movie, although fully empowering women, did not dampen the goodness and strength of men as well. The Amazons were highly skilled and wise and acted as a true and bonded community in Themyscira, and so did the broken yet valiant crew that Diana got to fight with.
Steve and Diana helped bring out their potential and role in saving people and in stopping the Great War. The first was when they tried to protect each other when the Germans attacked Themyscira. Then there was the time Steve and their companions heaved a ‘shield’ and shouted for Diana to step on it, so she could go take on the sniper on top of a building. And of course, there’s the ending where Steve knew that getting on the plane and detonating its poisonous carriage will be the only thing to do to stop more people getting killed. He had sacrificed his life after first talking with Diana, although she did not hear what he said due to shellshock from her fight with Ares. He said he loved her and wished they had more time.
When Diana was trapped on the ground, constricted by metal, her eyes were up to the heavens, and she spotted the plane which Steve was flying. When she saw Steve’s plane burst into fire, she screamed and that set her onslaught towards Ares. Truly, Steve saved the day, and Diana, as he said, will continue on saving the world. And she did.
These two people empowered each other. They educated one another of their principles, of their experiences, of what they knew of the worlds they lived in.
Men and women are not supposed to degrade one another nor make rude and mean “fun” of each other. We are to be a team and we are to educate each other, and if we could believe in each other’s strengths and to complement weaknesses, that’s when we truly are forwarding our rights and dignity – not just for men and not just for women – but for men and women as partners and teammates in this world.
As Gal Gadot had said in this article which noted that it was from Star2.com: “But [Wonder Woman] is not only for girls but for boys as well. Everyone keeps talking about women empowerment and you can’t empower women without educating men,” she added. “You need to be inclusive. Being a mother of two, I am thrilled. I hope there will be more and more strong female figures (in films).”
True empowerment is partnership and teamwork, and it is inclusive of others.
I’m sure that there are lots more we can learn from Wonder Woman and its inspiring message of love. These are the things I was able to learn from it. Truly, the biggest takeaway for me is to choose good and love being the only thing that can save the world. And may we not just wonder about the message but to act on it too. Thanks, Wonder Woman!
Here’s a watercolor painting I did too of Wonder Woman. 🙂