I went to see Wonder Women 1984 since it was released and there was a lot of talk about it. It was a rare opportunity for me to see a movie in IMAX, and while the visuals and sound were very powerful and interesting, I had the impression that it was not what I was expecting.
I haven’t actually seen the first Wonder Woman movie, so I can only comment on 1984. When I heard that Wonder Woman was directed by a female director in Hollywood, and that the director was the same director who made the movie Monster, I had high expectations that the movie would have a message of “female empowerment” and “a critical look at social structure.”
The basic story of Wonder Woman is that of a super-powered woman from a women-only tribe, such as the Amazones, who corrects social ills for the sake of justice.
So, of course, it is an empowering movie in the sense that the main character is a woman, and a strong, beautiful, and cool woman fights for justice.
However, I was a little disappointed that that was all it was because I was expecting more of a message than that.
Furthermore, the existence of another woman (Barbara) who envy the main female character (Diana) was a bit of disappointing.
[Allowing for Lookism]
For example, Barbara is a scholar working at the Smithsonian, but she is portrayed as a plain and unrefined woman who cannot even wear heels. She admires Diana (her colleague), who is strong and beautiful, and wishes on a “wish-fulfillment stone” to become like her, which leads to her becoming popular with men and gaining strength and beauty.
The first thing that strikes me as a bit oversimplified is that she has a doctorate, a lot of expertise, and the social status of working at the Smithsonian, yet she has no self-affirmation because of her looks and social skills.
Furthermore, when her wish comes true and she becomes “beautiful,” the man at the party is surprised by her change and hits on her, but recommends some kind of vitamin (I forget what it is) and says, “At your age, you should take something like that. It’s important to stay young,” he said, and she agreed with him.
The “strength” of wanting to be like Diana does not include the strength to push away the criticism of others because of her looks or age, and I felt disappointed in the way it was portrayed, as if those who are protected by such superficial things can be strong.
In the end, there was a scene where Barbara and Diana, who had become stronger, fought, and although I was tired of seeing this composition, it depicted a “catfight between women” and “women who cannot understand each other.”
In particular, the man who rules the world by means of the wish-granting stone chooses to give up his wish for Diana’s persuasion and his own child, but Barbara refuses to give up her own wish without Diana’s persuasion until the end. What happens to her after that is never explained, and the ending is a battle of women who cannot understand each other.
I personally thought the story would have been more interesting if Barbara’s characterization and description had been done more carefully.
However, writing about it like this might make you think that it was a bad movie because of all the criticism, but I actually enjoyed it quite a bit.
I’m not a big fan of superhero movies. I don’t like superhero movies because I don’t feel any sympathy for them when they show us battle scenes in unbelievable costumes, but this movie was interesting because it didn’t focus so much on battles, but also depicted Diana’s psychology and the state of society.
Especially since the movie was made under the Trump administration, there were some characters and social satire that I thought “Oh, this must be a satire to Trump,” which made it interesting to watch.
If you have the time, go see this movie and see how you would feel about it.