When I was a youngster, comic book versions of Superman, Wonder Woman, Batman, Super Girl and other heroic figures had already been around for a considerable time. There were many little “Variety” stores that boasted large shelves, brimming with these wonderful treasures. I partook of them with great pleasure when I got my weekly allowance. I would pour over them with my best friends. We would sometimes try to conjure ourselves into our own versions of these caped crusaders.
Perhaps the thing I kept with me the most from those innocent years was the impact comics had on my thinking about life. It was a big impact. They are actually a first rate teaching tool and they fostered good habits and ethical approaches to problems.
I’ve just had the belated experience of being reminded of all that through a film I missed four years ago and just a few days ago, finally watched.
“Wonder Woman” with Gal Gadot as the star. Wow, this film is totally unlike the majority of action films and super person movies I’ve seen in recent years. It is not just another noisy, gaudy and violent experience. It is a film with real heart and message. It has a wealth of hidden virtues as well. (Not the least of which is an underlying Christology which I noticed several other reviewers had also commented on.)
The concept of a marvelous, larger than life presence, empowered with super strength and spiritual gifts, who is willing to selflessly risk all for imperfect and flawed humanity, out of a belief in the transcendence of love, is hard to miss.
There is so much in this film. It leaves you with a sense of faith and confidence in our life that is often beaten to the ground by the relentless day after day fear mongering, politically devised lies and half truths and the eternal triviality of business models and methods hyped and touted to us hour after hour through our all reigning technologies and social platforms.
It seems almost miraculous that a subject from fiction and fantasy could have such an impact on real life. But I totally affirm this.
The film is set during World War One, in itself a departure from previous Super films set no further back than World War two. Through some kind of space warp Diana, the Princess, who was raised by Amazons on the Island of Themyscira, is able to see and save the American soldier, Steve Trevor, (Chris Pine) who has been shot down over the ocean by WW1 German soldiers. Following a short skirmish the arriving German’s are routed by Amazon warriors. After an interlude on the Island, Trevor and the princess team up and return to the war zone where Trevor hopes to defeat the German high command. Diana, on her part, is convinced the Germans are led by her dark nemesis, Ares, the evil God of War who she believes is disguised as Col. Ludendorff.
Incredible events follow, presenting twists and turns of plot as well as pulse pounding war scenes and character revelations.
Diana, step by step, takes on her role as Goddess incarnate while keeping all her best human traits in perfect balance. Her character continuously sets good examples for the time period she portrays and for our time period right now as we marvel and watch. One feels like applauding when she goes right to the point of issues while those around her try to follow the politics of the moment. She’s like the child in the Emperor’s new clothes, blurting the unspoken but obvious.
We need such honesty, right now, to snap us out of our automaton-like lethargy. Too long controlled news media has been our only horror laden source of “dis-inspiration”.. Get your four year old copies of this film out (or buy new ones) and watch it over and over as the wonderful lessons emerge one after another. It will focus your thoughts and brighten your day. It will also help give simple faith and courage, two of our best qualities, a new lease on life.
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