I’m a man. I do not do anything on time. Not the dishes. Not a regular visit to the dentist. Nor do I listen to the fairer sex, the first time. Only to foolishly learn my lesson later on. ‘Dear you were right- the restaurant does require a reservation. But I think they’ll let us in. Perhaps if you wear that short dress. You know which one…’ No dress. No date. No hope for mankind.
So, true to my Neanderthal nature, I watched Wonder Woman months after it had been released in cinemas. In fact, I even saw Spiderman, before I gave Diana my attention. For someone who claims to be both a superhero fanatic and a cinema enthusiast, my actions are rather blasphemous. In the build up, I was made aware that this movie is extremely pivotal, not only to the superhero genre, but to femininity across the movie landscape as a whole.
Superhero genre? Yes. Movie landscape as a whole?
There is something momentous in the fact that it took 75 years for the iconic DC heroine to finally get her own movie. And the film itself is a fine cinematic effort, all in terms of deeper themes, well-paced action and a cast that soundly brings it all together. But to say this movie is a turning point in the quest to promote femininity within the film industry, almost dismisses the greatness provided by those before the Amazonian princess.
What about Kathryn Bigelow being the first women to win Best Director at the Oscars, the Baftas and the DGA Awards in 2010 for her work on The Hurt Locker?
What about Alice Guy-Blaché, the first female writer-director of over 1000 narrative films from 1896 to 1920, who was also one of the first women to manage and own her own studio?
What about Jennifer Lawrence being the youngest ever actor or actress to be nominated for three Oscars?
And don’t even get me started on a certain Meryl Streep….
To be fair, the hype around the importance of Wonder Woman, stems from the territory that comes within falling under the superhero blockbuster category. The movie has impressively made over $356.7 million at the Box Office in the US and, according to marketing analytics, has drawn in a huge female audience towards a genre that has often been perceived as being male dominated.
It is not to say that Wonder Woman is not important, in the strive towards gender equality and woman’s rights within, and arguably even beyond, the entertainment industry. But it is important not to sensationalize this perceived milestone, to the point that the stellar efforts from the past are now trivialised. The movie Hidden Figures was just as important this year in reaffirming the importance of women.
It needs to be noted that perhaps Wonder Woman would have waited a tad longer than 75 years to hit the big screen, had it not been for the dire need to create a build up for the eagerly anticipated Justice League movie. And that in itself means that there is still work needed in creating more movie characters that are not dependent or co-exist due to their male counterparts.
Still, the movie was damn good. She fights the Nazis. She upholds beliefs and integrity, long forgotten by arrogant men. She flicks away bullets like they’re mosquitoes. And she does it all in the iconic attire.
It’s both enthralling and philosophical. Hell, there’s even Oscar talk doing its rounds. Although, like with most hero movies, it is highly unlikely to win a best picture award.
But I only wrote this because I didn’t get a dinner reservation. And stayed at home perched over my laptop.
What do I know?