Wonder Woman

 

I watched the Wonder Woman movie yesterday.

There were several things I enjoyed, including the feel of the movie, the strong women characters, the female lead, the setting, the outsider’s view Wonder Woman’s background allowed her, and that it had a female director and there is a cool Wonder Woman back story. Overall, and in spite of what I’ll write next (!), I enjoyed the movie very much.

The movie also reminded me of a few different things.

Breaking the magic. Any story is more powerful if it’s believable within its own world. It mostly was, apart from a couple of things that broke the magic a bit for me. One was Trevor slightly coughing after drowning and the other was Wonder Woman very conveniently only needing to deflect bullets directly in front of her upper body or face.

Simplistic duality. Since it’s based on a traditional US comic book, the good vs evil and single hero vs single villain story was predictable, although slightly disappointing. There was a moment where Trevor brought in a more nuanced view, but that was quickly left aside and they were back to the familiar duality.

I understand that temporarily enganging in a simple good vs evil duality can be a relief, and that a single hero saving the world feels comforting, but it also seems a bit old fashioned. And not all that satisfying since it’s not really how the world works.

If I wanted to be cynical about it, I would say that this reflects a certain lack of maturity in the US culture, and that a good vs evil mythology is very useful for an empire (which the US is). And there may be some truth to that.

A mirror. Any story is a mirror for us, whether we tell ourselves it’s made up (movies, books, dreams) or from real life. That means we can make use of it in several ways. For instance, I can make a note of any charge or reaction I have to scenes in the movie. Find beliefs, identities, or memories connected to it. And take it to inquiry, Vortex Healing, the Big Mind process, or any other approach that seems helpful.

Note: In my case, I did notice some beliefs: It’s typical infantile good vs evil view. That’s typical for the US. The movie makers didn’t make enough effort to move beyond it. They made Wonder Woman too naive. The ending was a bit lame. They made Germans the bad guys, but this was WWI and there were no obvious bad guys (as opposed to WWII). And just writing that, I can’t help flashing on how these thoughts are not really true, and the validity in the reversals.

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Initial notes…..

  • wonder woman
    • liked the feel of the movie + strong women + female director + cool backstory (how Super Woman came about)
    • small things that detracted a bit
      • some things made it less believable even within this fantasy world
        • slight cough after drowning, deflecting bullets always in chest/face height etc.
        • more powerful if it’s believable within its own world, so those smaller details matter
      • (also, represented as naive and in need of guidance, even if it does fit the story)
    • reminder, simplistic worldview
      • US superhero movies (and movies in general)
      • slightly infantile view on the world, as a child
      • good vs bad + single heroic savior + often single bad person
        • (US, being imperialistic, likes that narrative, likes to promote it, bc supports the empire) + (attractive to some since simple/simplistic, don’t have to think much about it or revise views)
      • in this movie, had a minute or two where it felt slightly more mature, then back to the “single hero defeating the single villain and saving the world” story
      • me, as a child, did read some US superhero comics, but liked the European ones more (since I am from Europe) (Spirou/Franquin, later Will Eisner who is from the US)
    • in general, can use for exploration
      • can use any story as exploration of oneself
      • any story, as a dream, can find all parts/situations in oneself, reflects what’s here
        • can explore it through active imagination
        • can notice any beliefs/charge at any point in the movie, make a note, take it to inquiry / VH / TRE etc.

 

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There were also a few things that detracted from the experience a bit, for instance that Trevor only coughed slightly after having drowned, and that Wonder Woman – for some reason – only needed to deflect bullets at the height of her upper chest or face. Any story is more powerful if it’s believable within its own world, and these small episodes makes it slightly less believable. They are too much of a reminder that it’s fantasy and made up.

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Initial draft…..

I watched the Wonder Woman movie yesterday and there were several things about it I liked very much: the feel of the movie, the strong women characters and lead, the setting, and that it had a female director and a cool back story.

The movie also reminded me of a few different things.

Any story is more powerful if it’s internally consistent and believable within its own world. I think it was mostly internally consistent. But a few smaller situations were not quite believable and were – for me – too much of a reminder that this is a made-up world. For instance when Trevor just had a slight cough after drowning and when Wonder Woman only needed to deflect bullets in front of her upper chest or face.

It was also slightly disappointing that the movie bought into the good vs. evil and one hero vs one villain view. I understand that some may enjoy the simplicity in it, but we also all know that’s not how the world works so it becomes another reminder that this is a made up world. (It had a minute or two towards the end where it seemed to go in a more nuanced direction, but then it quickly went back to the simplistic view.)

I also tend to use movies and any story as an opportunity for exploration. Any person, being, or situation in any story reflect characteristics and dynamics in me. And I can explore that through active imagination (as I would a dream), inquiry, Vortex Healing, or even TRE. I like to make a note of any time I experience a charge, look for the beliefs and identities behind it, and then take it to inquiry or VH.

In this case, I can take some of my stories above to inquiry. They should have more movies with strong female leads. The US is far behind Europe in that area. The good/bad view is too simplistic. The one-hero view is too simplistic. It reflects an immature view. It’s typical US to have such a simplistic view of the world. 

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