By Jullie Y. Daza
From its title alone, it’s clear that Wonder Woman is a “girl movie” as distinguished from the other kind that appeals to guys. And yet, there I sat in the moviehouse, surrounded by men and boys to the right and left, in front and back of me. No wonder, Wonder Woman has broken opening-day, opening-weekend, Philippine, US, and international box-office records.
Wonder of wonders, Gal Gadot in the title role is more than your typical Hollywood star. For one, she’s not American and her reputation rests neither on her awards nor fame (or infamy) as a celebrity sexpot. She’s not endowed with pretty cutesy doll-like features, though she’s also a professional model and was once Miss Israel. She stands a towering 6 ft, almost as tall as her leading man, as befits the Queen of Amazons she’s portraying. As a real-life warrior, she served two years in the Israeli army’s combat intelligence unit. To play Diana Prince, aka Wonder Woman, Ms. Gadot, who’s married with children, built her body to gain 17 lb of extra muscle. All that heft and height and muscle, and she could soar, cinematically of course, through the air to climb mountains and jump off cliffs with complete balletic grace!
If this sounds like something out of fandom, why not. Our young girls have been led to believe, with lots of encouragement from their nannies and movie magazines, that a born-beautiful, photogenic face is all they need to break into showbiz. Let Wonder Woman aka Gal Gadot teach them that besides the looks, the will to learn is paramount, as is a fair amount of talent and training. Movies may be an extension of the arts and sciences of modern-day magic, but those tools go only so far. For example, in Wonder Woman, the story and characters work because of the stunning scenery, the unbelievable stunts, the wonders of visual effects and camera technology, also because of the long, tedious man/womanhours spent behind the cameras, long before the first and after the last shooting day. On top of all that, GG was 5 months pregnant!
For those looking for relevance, WW the movie projects a strong message: You don’t have to be immortal like Diana to be a wonderful person. Her message resounds, one that women who have labored to help their families and others understand only too well: “Love is the only way to save the world.” Oh, yes, Gal Gadot is a UN ambassador whose assignment is woman empowerment.