In 2016, when Gal Gadot made her cameo as Wonder Woman in Batman Vs Superman: Dawn of Justice, we let a huge breath out because at least someone was there to save the downfall of the DC Comics.
Her individual presence alone was able to make us eagerly wait for her own film Wonder Woman which released in 2017. Most young adults had a deep regret for not growing up with Wonder Woman because only this live-action film had the power to be a hero in the mind of a child.
This writer does not mean to sound like James Cameron who in 2017 had mentioned that Wonder Woman had been a 'step backward', though we can't help but now agree with him in the context of the 2020 film, Wonder Woman 1984. This film wasn't just backward in terms of the timeline but also in terms of scripting. It was no longer a progressive superhero film, but completely missed the fine point about feminism.
'I hate guns'
There's one dialogue which Wonder Woman kept repeating while saving people, her dislike for guns. Initially, it felt as if she formed a connection with Batman, aka Bruce Wayne who hated guns because his parents were killed with that weapon. Hence he breaks jurisdiction, flies to China and brings back the criminals (parcelled) in front of the office of Commissioner Gordon, but never uses the guns. However, this was 1984, and Batman still hadn't come to existence, hence this dialogue was repeatedly used to impress the Democrats of the US, who are presently expected to be in power.
Patty Jenkins had probably not given much of a thought, but Diana/Wonder Woman here is a superhero, thereby comparatively more physically powerful than the common people around her. It's easy for her to say 'I hate guns' and play the moral police, but had Captain Steve had the gun, he would have been able to use it to threaten his attackers. Diana here spoke like a person with privilege who started acting as moral police since she could, and she failed to see the perspective of the young, powerless women, and men around her.
'I want to be like Diana: Barbara'
We live in a world where it is necessary to encourage everyone who wants to be like Diana. She is charming, warm, and had attractive features that can make men drool for her. She has everything a woman could ever ask for, physical strength, a heartwarming smile, a stunning personality, yet she never ever takes pride in that and warmly stands by another woman who seems to be in trouble. The year 2020 is in an era when we need children to wish to be like Diana and not any other Disney princess who wait for the prince charming to arrive and rescue them.
Hence, watching Barbara turn into Cheetah was a big blow on everything feminism stands for -- Women standing by another woman, aspiring to encourage each other. Instead, Barbara turned out to be like the usurper friend who betrays the woman whose companionship made her strong and stunning. For a generation that seriously crushes on the Israeli beauty Gal Gadot, this is to remind you don't stop yourself from trying to be like Wonder Woman.
Diana was less about saving the world and more about Steve, Steve, Steve, and Steve
We loved Diana because she was a strong and independent woman who cared more about defeating the God of War. Her world did not centre around a guy who would arrive to rescue her. Of course, the chemistry Steve and Diana shared was heartwarming but it was loved more because Diana's priority was saving the world and not being with Steve.
Hence, when Wonder Woman 1984 spent maximum screen timing in fireworks, celebrating their love, reunion, it was a bit disappointing to watch the focused woman Diana worry more about Steve than the world. At one point Steve, the dead man tries to explain that she needs to focus more on her powers, her strengths than the dead man. He even suggested that maybe she could date the doppelganger, or the body double in which his soul was trapped.
The point is, Wonder Woman was not a Hollywood romantic flick, but a superhero film where the superhero is expected to care more about the world than the man she loves. It took the entire destruction of New York, Egypt and some other cities for Wonder Woman to realise that she needs to renounce her wishes in order to save the world.
Oh and for those of you who have watched the film, Maxwell Lord is one of the most feared villains of DC Comics, not some genie with health issues like they have shown in the Patty Jenkins film.
The only saving grace in Patty Jenkins film was Gal Gadot and her efforts to make this film about Wonder Woman and the nostalgia it created when Lynda Carter had been a face of the superhero character. The flying sequence where Diana learns to fly like a superhero was a shot taken from the old version. But there's obviously too much pressure on Gal to make the film about Wonder Woman and not just another Hollywood romantic flick.
Patty Jenkins should stop worrying about impressing the Academy and be more dedicated to her screen. This is an audience which eagerly waited to watch Christopher Nolan's Tenet too and yes we noticed those sequences which seemed like a shot straightaway taken from the Nolan film.