“Wonder Woman”, officially banned in Lebanon, the lead is played by Israeli actor, Gal Gadot. Lebanon, a country whose religious groups are comprised of 54% Muslim, 40% Christian: Catholic, Protestant, Greek Orthodox; Druze and approximately 200 Jews. It’s banning is the prime reason I saw the film; a plethora of surprises: physical, psychological and intellectual piqued, prodded and sealed my attention.
Amazon Women Warriors shared in Homer’s “Iliad” written in the 8-7th century B.C.; they mated, annihilated the partner and kept only the female infants; in the”Odyssey” Hercules was required to steal Queen Hippolyta’s girdle; she is “Diana’s” (Wonder Woman) mother. Director Patty Jenkins scores in her prescient interpretation of an empowered woman; her mythic capabilities inherited from her father, Zeus.
Gal Gadot is enchanting as Diana, a wizardly vision of strength, dexterity, aerial acuity; galvanizing goodness transcends jejune observations; her imperial island is fractured by the crashing of an airplane, rescue of English pilot “Steve Trevor” (appropriately cast Chris Pine), butchery by German fighters (WWI); gorgeously filmed, magnificent Amazon archers combating nefarious Germans, arrows vs. bullets; predictability cannot stunt the thrilling pathos. Blissfully naïve Diana enlists Steve to join ranks and pursue the god of war, “Ares”; their relationship is the core of the film: simplicity vs complexity, delusions vs reality; theirs is a genuine pairing, void of Hollywood sensationalism or campiness.
Worthy villains pepper the scenario: German “General Lundendorff” (slimily effective Danny Huston), his chemist “Dr. Maru” (maimed and marvelous Elena Anaya) and the king of evil, the sovereign of chaos, Ares, (David Thewlis, appropriately fiendish).
“Wonder Woman” is a superb blend of courage, compassion, love and tremendous empathy; she is the archetype of self awareness, security, intrepid in following her instincts, a visionary of inspiration. She is inclusive, her message does not discriminate; her quest for peace is worldwide, embracing all countries, even Lebanon.
THREE & 1/2 STARS