Is Wonder Woman a Demigod or a Bodhisattva? FULL Wonder Woman Movie Review

What's up YouTube Friends? My name is Prince, and I am an Urban Acolyte This video is going to be my FULL review of the Wonder Woman movie which I have now seen twice, and I have to admit that I am even more amazed after a second viewing than I was the first time around when I said that I was blown away in my spoiler free review that I posted yesterday

So before I get into the meat of this review, I want to acknowledge a few people– first off, thank you to Allan Heinberg for writing an excellent screenplay Thank you to director, Patty Jenkins for bringing this vision to the big screen and making, what I feel, to be one of THE BEST superhero origin stories I've ever seen Thank you to Gal Gadot for KILLING it as the Princess of Themyscira Your performance shut everyone up who didn't think you could play the part You rocked it, and I can't wait to see you in the Justice League

I also want to acknowledge an acquaintance of mine, Mayling Ng She played an Amazon warrior named Orana I knew Mayling was in this movie when she suddenly went to Italy for a vacation last year Seeing her on the big screen has been very inspiring for me and my own personal aspirations One of the things I'm going to talk about in this review is how Wonder Woman, like Superman, is a symbol of hope, and Mayling, you might not know it, but you're also a symbol of hope to those of us who have been following your career for the last 5 or 6 years

Okay, let's jump into this review I'm going to start off by saying thisand it's going to come off as a bit of a surprise, if you're new to this channel, and you don't know about the kinds of themes I point out when I do my reviews–but for me, Wonder Woman's origin story had a lot of Buddhist elements to it

As a matter of fact, I would go so far as to say that Diana is a kind of bodhisattva of compassion in the DC Extended Universeor the movie universe So if you're not familiar with the story of the Buddha, he was born into the warrior caste, and he was a Prince

He's trained as a warrior from the moment he could hold a spear and the expectation is that he will one day become King A wise man said that he would either become a great king or some kind of sage who will save the world His father wanted him to become a warrior and a great king, so he sheltered him The only thing he would know is a life of pleasure, a life without suffering This is very much inline with Diana's upbringing when the movie flashes back from the present to tell her origin story

We see little Diana in Themysicira, and from day one, Diana wants to fight She wants to train She wants to hear the stories of this Amazon warrior culture that she is to one day rule as the daughter of Queen Hippolyta The thing is, from the very beginning, Queen Hippolyta does everything she can to shelter Diana from her true calling, her true destiny So this is where the story of Diana Prince mirrors Prince Siddartha

I want you to store all of this stuff about the Buddha and Wonder Woman in your memory banks, because I want to go over the plot in the movie–but I plan to come back to that theme about Wonder Woman and her Buddhist path shortly Allright, so time shifts to the early 20th century when the events in the movie occur We see a now adult Diana questioning herself Who am I? What is the truth about me? Why does Antiope keep saying that I'm holding back? In a sense, she's questioning herself She's trying to discover the self–it's the beginning of the hero's journey

At this point, it's usually a supernatural event that jars the hero into actionand that's exactly what happens She sees something like a bright and morning star falling from the heavens

if you didn't know, that's a reference from the book of Isaiah in the Hebrew Bible Because Diana is already in a place created by the gods, her bright and morning star is something from the modern world, from the human world It's Captain Steve Trevor crashing his plane after he tried evading the pursuing German Forces

Captain Trevor has been on a spy mission investigating the Central Powers' plans to sabotage the Armistice Peace treaty signing with a new form of mustard gas created by Doctor Poison Steve managed to steal Doctor Poison's notebook documenting all of her work, and this brought him some heat from the German's who pursued him They shot down his plane, and he was luckily rescued by Diana, BUT the Germans pursuing Steve managed to pierce the veil and find their way into Themyscira Now this event introduced the state of the modern world to the Amazons, but it also served another purpose in Diana's journey Her mentor, Antiope was killed in the battle on the beach

For Diana, this was her Obi-Wan gets struck down by Darth Vader moment In Star Wars, up to that point, Luke Skywalker was just along for the ride because he didn't really have anywhere else to go after Uncle Owen and Aunt Beru got barbecued by the Empire When Obi Wan became one with the Force, Luke had to act He had to run; he had to trust the Force to destroy the Death Star; and he had to begin this deeper mission of self discovery which would culminate in him restoring his father's honor and becoming the last Jedi For Diana, the death of Antiope was her push to discover her true self

She became aware of the war and the suffering She was told that this is the time to act This is the time to go and get Ares He's the one behind this–fulfill the mission of the Amazons Take the Godkiller and destroy Ares for once and for all

So this is what she set out to do–and the funny thing is when you go back and watch a second time, ask yourself if Antiope was telling Diana to take the sword, if she was telling her to discover who she really is–or if she were saying both This kind of made me think of the new King Arthur movie, which bombed in the box office–but you have the magic sword, Excalibur The thing about Excalibur, in this movie, is that it's magic can only be unlocked by someone of the Pendragon bloodline So even though you have this magic sword, it doesn't matter unless you discover who you really are and how you are connected to the magic Does that make sense? Well, in the case of Diana, we would later discover that the sword didn't matter at all

That would come at the moment of her awakening, or the moment of her Enlightenment in the final act of the movie Now the interaction between Diana and Steve as they return to the modern world highlites just how naive Diana really is I loved Gal Gadot's acting in these parts She believes that all people are good at heart The Germans have been corrupted by this war machine created by Ares, the God of War

All she has to do is defeat Ares and goodness will return to the whole wide world I was waiting for rainbows to appear in the clouds to match the twinkle in Diana's eyes I'm glad that didn't happen, but it was so cheesy to the point that you bought it because think about it– this woman has been completely sheltered her entire life She's read these books and been taught these lessons about the world by her tutors, but she's never really experienced the world She's never seen suffering

She's never seen war She's never seen human cruelty All she's known are the myths and stories that she was told–including the myth that she was told about her own creation and how she came to be So the second act in this movie deals with two themes The first of them is the war

Will the war end; how will this plan that Ludendorff is working on with Doctor Poison turn out? Will Steve and his team actually be able to stop them when the Triple Entente being led by the British seem to be focused on the Armistice? What's going to happen with this thing that we, as the audience, obviously know will happen We know that Ludendorff plans to use the Armistice to launch this mustard gas attack and give the Germans a final victory We also are seeing Diana's identity being stripped away It's like she has to lose herself to find herself Who are you, what kind of warrior are you going to be? In theology, there is a way of describing God called Apophatic theology, or negative theology

You talk about God by saying what God is not–and this via negativa is basically Diana's path of self discovery Steve is constantly telling her what she won't do, what she can't do Everyone says no to her–this is not something we can do; we have THIS mission We have to do this mission THIS way, or it will fail We didn't set out to do THIS thing

We can't help THAT animal, Diana We can't free THAT VILLAGE, Diana No, Diana We're not doing thatit's impossible NO MAN can do that, Diana, it's impossible It's at this point when Diana begins to believe in herself She begins to believe in her own strength, and she stops looking outward for acceptance or for approval

I don't think it's ironic that Diana makes her big stand at a place called "NO MAN'S CROSSING" It's like a knod to that line from Macbeth that says "none born of a woman shall harm him" MacDuff was delivered by C-section– in this case, Diana crosses because she's NOT A MANand that crossing, it felt like a moment out of the first Captain America movie These soldiers are pinned down in this bunker, and out of nowhere a superhero with a shield gives them hope to make a push into enemy territory where they previously had no hope of a victory As if that scene wasn't enough–what Diana does in the city of Verdt? That scene, sorry to quote my earlier video, but this scene WAS AMAZING Diana jumps through windows fighting the German forces She running and jumping from building to building in pursuit of the soldiers

There's the sequence when she lands on the ground and uses the Lasso of Truth as a whip that is just beautiful I know people had issues with the use of slow motion during that entire battle, but in fight sequences, there are these long cuts that I prefer to see during fight scenes as opposed to the quick cuts and shaky cameras in a lot of movies Those techniques get used a lot because stunt people are actually doing the work as opposed to the actual actors My personal thoughts are that those slow motion shots were all stuff done in post production to keep the focus on Diana It didn't bother me– personally, I would rather look at Wonder Woman kicking butt

besides, focusing on Gal Gadot is a good, thing, right? Anyway, getting back to the plot– there's a conversation, on the way to the Gala, that I felt was important Steve explains Diana's origin to the rest of the group Sameer and Chief's both immediately buy into her story

"Look at what she just did back thereI believe her" Charlie doesn't buy it, and he asks Steve, and Steve remains silent

It's really funny because Steve and Diana are like on polar opposites She fully believes this thing she's been taught her entire life to believe Steve, in spite of everything he's seen on his adventure, has doubts about what Diana believes–and this is important It's important because Diana does have her showdown with Ludendorff, who she believes to be Ares I'll admit that I had my suspicions regarding a certain other character, but Ludendorff seemed like he might be Ares

I had questions about Doctor Poison creating that gas that was supposed to help him regain his strength–like maybe Ares lost something after Zeus injured him Now I'm wondering if what Doctor Poison created was something similar to the venom formula that Bane uses Either way– I knew something was up with how easily Diana was able to dispatch him Initially, I thought he wasn't actually dead– like no way could this guy die so easily, but then we got our big revealor a confirmation if you look at Sir Patrick's response to Trevor attending that Gala at the castle So we find out that Sir Patrick is actually Ares, and that he's been controlling both sides of this war along with many others He attributes himself as the inspiration of humankind and their ability to discover technological advances to hasten the progress of their demise We have this picture of a faithful son to Zeus who only wants to show that the humans are unworthy of what they've been given

Ares makes himself out to be this very Luciferian type character He's the light bearer or the bringer of Light– but his true intent is to shine a light on humanity so that they can see how to destroy each other He feels this is the only way to restore the world to the paradise it once was– so it made me think of something like "Paradise Lost" In Paradise Lost, Lucifer is kind of a tragic hero He's not completely good or completely bad, but he has some serious flaws that bring about his undoing

Just like in Paradise Lost, Ares leads a one man revolt against Zeus He slays all of the other gods and demigods of Olympus, as told by King Hyppolyta at the beginning of the movie Ares is injured in a final battle with Zeus and he flees Olympus to recover from his injuries As Ares tells Diana, he's been influencing humanity's development since that time–and it echoes a line from Paradise Lost that it is better to reign in Hell than to serve in Heaven Ares also gives a big reveal to Diana in that she is actually the Godslayer, not her weapon The story that she's been told about how she was formed from clay and given life by Zeus is a lie–she's actually the daughter of Zeus She is a god herself, and because only a god can kill another god, she was to be raised by Queen Hyppolyta and trained by the Amazons to kill Ares

At this point, both Ares and Steve Trevor facilitate Diana's awakening Ares tells her the truth about herself, and Trevor tells her the truth about the world He says look, this thing you believe about Ares and the world might not be true You're not to blame for what has happened and what may happen in the future There is a darkness in the heart of humanity that will still be there after Ares is gone, and you can be the one to confront that bigger battle

I can save the the world for today, but you can save the world for tomorrow It takes Diana's awakening to really understand that message–that she can save the world tomorrow, and how she can save the world It's not by being the warrior that I thought of when I thought of Wonder Woman– but it's by being this symbol of Hope, of Love, and of Compassionand I know that it might be difficult to reconcile all these things with the fact that Wonder Woman is still a butt kicking superhero, but if you look at Buddhist artwork, the bodhisattva are always depicted as warriors The Buddha was a warrior He trained in a martial art called vajramukti, which means lightning style martial art You have Vajrayana Buddhism, which means the lightning path– and here you have the daughter of Zeus whose symbol is lightningalso the bull, which we saw when Diana stole the Godkiller sword Another interesting bit– Diana has to fight Ares, who she realizes to be her brother, and it's like you've taken the masculine and feminine aspects of Zeus and pitted them against one another– see, the full name of Zeus is Dias-Zeus Ares representing the masculine part and Diana as Dias, the feminine aspect of Zeus In their fight, Ares first attempts to lure Diana to his side by appealing to her desire

We can rebuild the world, restore it to what it once was He then turns to an all out attack, and notice how his attacks are mostly magic based attacks Diana is still focused on the physical, the body She's fighting with her hands and fists–and this is in part because she doesn't know how to tap into her full abilities, but it's also because she's not fully awakened The moment of her awakening comes when Ares tries to throw all of the shrapnel at her, and that part struck me as interesting because, again, this is similiar to the event at Bodh Gaya during the Buddha's awakening

He was confronted by the demon king, Lord Mara, at the moment of his awakening Lord Mara presented his beautiful daughters to the Buddha, but the Buddha rejected them Lord Mara then raised up an army of archers to kill the Buddha, but the Buddha touched the ground The illusion went away, and the Buddha defeated Lord Mara Diana, in the same way, defeated Ares initial attack

When Ares called down the lightning to destroy Diana, well– it didn't work on her The lightning is a symbol of knowledge and knowing the inner self, the true self It's a symbol of awakening, and it's a symbol of Zeus Diana awoke to her true nature, her true self, as the daughter of Zeus, as the bodhisattva of compassion This lightning attack could have no effect on her, and so she absorbed the lightning, and she turned Ares intent back on him

His intent was to destroy, to kill, to vanquish, and he became a recipient of what he wanted to do to her It's like taking a package and marking,"return to sender," and this is a very Buddhist thing to do There's a Buddhist saying that goes,"to insult a wise person is like spitting on the sky" What happens if you try to spit on the sky? The spit comes right back down at you So we return back to the modern world; after the events in Metropolis from Batman versus Superman

We see Diana don her Amazonian armor and fly off on an adventure in Paris, and I was left with a few questions The first being, what happened to Diana between World War I and the fight with Doomsday What has she been doing all that time? Who has she become since that time, and what personal challenges does she now face? Also, will we be seeing any more of the Amazons or any more gods from the Greek pantheon? I guess these are questions that will have to be answered when we get more stories from the DC Extended Universe I've said a lot in this video, and now I would like to hear from you First off, what were your favorite scenes in the Wonder Woman movie? Also, what are your thoughts on what I've shared in my review? Has this movie changed the way you previously viewed the Wonder Woman character? Let me know your thoughts in the comment section below, and I'll be checking back to see what you all have to say

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