The Enchantment of Wonder Woman
I sat down to watch Wonder Woman (2017) after taking two SAT subject tests. I was desperate for an action-packed, CGI-filled distraction – I got so much more.
Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot), who goes by Diana Prince in the film, lives on an idyllic island populated by fierce female warriors. After pilot Steve Trevor (Chris Pine) crashes onto the shore and informs them of a great war that is raging outside, Diana follows him back to dreary 1918 London, believing she can end it.
Despite the fairly standard superhero-origin storyline that follows, I was completely won over by the charming performances of the actors. Gadot’s Diana is determined, confident, and compassionate, with just enough naiveté thrown in to make her lovable rather than irritatingly perfect. Chris Pine’s Steve Trevor spends most of the film trying to restrain the woman you want to see set free, but Pine somehow presents Trevor as kind and irresistibly likeable. It’s a pleasure to watch their romance unfold through their banter, shared heroics, and respect for one another – I truly cared for these characters and their developing relationship.
The most memorable moment in the film comes when Diana is walking through a crowded train station on her way to the front of a devastating world war. She stops to try an ice cream cone. I watch her close her eyes, savoring the taste, and proclaim to the vendor, “You should be very proud!” And then she’s back on her way to the battle.
It’s this effortless blend of the ordinary and extraordinary, along with the delightful characters, that made me fall for the film. Wonder Woman manages to find time in its 141 minutes to show its characters talking about sex, shopping for clothes, and swaying to music – scenes I usually associate with fluffy teenage dramas. But sitting in the movie theater, I was able to view it all through the lens of Diana’s wonder and excitement. At one point, she – this otherworldly being – gasps when she sees a human baby for the first time and runs up to it. I couldn’t help but feel her wide-eyed fascination, too.
Before seeing this movie, I had just barely pulled myself out of the trench that was junior year: dry textbook chapters, sandwiches scarfed down between classes, countless interviews and applications, never-ending writing deadlines, and a grand finale of two hours of SAT subject testing. Wonder Woman made me feel like I could maybe, possibly, become enchanted with the world again. - Grace Zhou
Grace Zhou is a senior in high school who enjoys writing, editing, and of course, watching movies.
Wonder Woman (2017)
Directed by Patty Jenkins
Runtime: 141 min