Friday, June 2, 2017

Spiritual Themes In Wonder Woman: Movie Review

Wonder Woman is the best of the recent efforts put forth from the DC Comics Universe. The movie is a well crafted period film featuring stunningly designed sets, a fantastic, well-written storyline and expertly portrayed characters. While I could have done without some of the Greek and Roman Mythology, it was incorporated into the narrative in interesting and enjoyable ways and provides opportunities for meaningful discussion.


Wonder Woman is the first movie I have seen that presents a theologically correct view of man, as created good and for good purposes, but easily corrupted and entirely fallen. If we allow a concession to use Zeus as a metaphor for God, albeit a weak and deceased stand in, and we allow Ares, the god of War as symbolic of Satan, then this movie gives a realistic depiction of the fallen state of man, how we were created, how we became spoiled and just how badly in need of rescue we really are.

The movie presents man as created by Zeus, in his own image and created very good, the same way the Bible presents man as created in the Image of God and called very good. The film presents Ares as corrupting all of humanity through his influence. He is seen to be whispering evil into the ears of people and manipulating depraved human behavior, trying to destroy everything Zeus has created and mankind, whom he loves. This is the same as Satan, an evil fallen angel who tempted the first man, Adam and Eve and caused sin to enter the world, corrupting all of humanity, as he still tempts us. The Bible, likewise teaches that All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.

In the movie Ares is the son of Zeus. In real life, however, Satan is NOT the son of God. He is a rebellious, sinful, defeated fallen angel. In the movie Wonder Woman, Diana, is the daughter of Zeus and is herself, a lowercase "g" god. In mythology, the term "god" was equivalent to our term superhero, though ours are entirely fictional, whereas the ancients actually worshipped some of these entities as deities. This is an area of caution to consider when allowing children to see these films. However, as the daughter of the god of this movie, which takes place in the pretend universe of DC Comics, she takes on the role of the Messianic Everyman character. Much like King Arthur, Frodo, Aragorn, the Pevensie children, Luke Skywalker, Katniss Everdean, Tris, Superman and Beowulf, Wonder Woman is the designated savior of the world. This theme, which resonates so deeply to the very core of human existence, really goes back to the true story of Jesus. Before His life, death, burial and resurrection on earth, these stories simply did not exist. All stories were tragedies, heroes were self-serving and self-centered or forced into service by gods who were self-serving and self-centered and the concept of someone dying for his friends, the concept of a God dying for his people, or stepping down from glory to help them was completely foreign to human thought. All of these stories are lesser presentations of the Greatest Story Ever Told, the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Diana, as the daughter of the god of the DC comics universe, can be used to symbolically represent Jesus, the Son of God. In the same way that Jesus was tempted by Satan to worship him and rule the world, Diana, was tempted by Ares to agree with him and rule the world. Like Jesus, she chose to show love, mercy, grace and compassion toward mankind and to utterly and completely defeat Ares, aka Satan.

There is tremendous compassion shown in this movie, which poignantly displays the heroin's shock at the atrocities of human behavior and her revulsion at the callousness of people not to help. The most wonderful moment in the movie is when Diana makes her choice. She realizes who she is and that can rule the world with Ares, or serve and protect it instead. She sees the fallen and depraved state of mankind and chooses to show mercy anyway. She sees the incredible potential of mankind along with the bad. She realizes that mankind does not "Deserve" it, but she chooses LOVE anyway. She demonstrates Grace in a powerful and intentional way. This is deliberately portrayed in the Script with great Intentionality. The themes of risking and sacrificing oneself for others and of love are powerful. The movie clearly states that all people have the capacity for both good and evil and that we must make a choice. Going beyond the movie, when we choose God, we choose Good. But our need for a Savior goes way beyond that. We need Jesus in our lives to heal us of our inclination toward sin and evil. We need all be talking about.

Caution Areas for viewers with children:
Most of the movie was surprisingly void of sexualized content. Diana is quite innocent and her male companion is portrayed as respectful and somewhat chivalrous, explaining that men and women do not sleep together unless they are married, though they did lie down fully clothed, next to each other to sleep in a boat. She comments awkwardly on having read someone named Cleo's works on bodily pleasure, who came to the conclusion that men are necessary for pro-creation, but not for pleasure. There is a wide shot of Chris Pine coming out of a Hot Natural Bath, like the ones at Hieropolis, when Diana walks in and he is briefly shown covering himself with his hands. A small amount of innuendo is employed. There is one kissing scene, alone in a hotel room behind closed doors. While a love scene could be implied, No clothes are removed and the camera moves to a shot of the building with a light on in the room and fades away. The emphasis was on the love between a man and a woman, which was welcome, though I would have preferred a goodnight kiss at the door.

No comments:

Post a Comment