Thursday, January 18, 2018

'Professor Marston and the Wonder Women' Reveals Wonder Woman's Scandalous Origin

Wonder Woman was one of the most notable films of 2017.  However, what many don’t know is there was another “Wonder Woman” film released last year – a biopic about William Moulton Marston, the creator of Wonder Woman.  Titled Professor Marston and the Wonder Women, it stars Luke Evans as Prof. Marston and details the bizarre relationship he had with his wife Elizabeth Holloway Marston (played by Rebecca Hall) and their mistress Olive Byrne (played by Bella Heathcote), who were significantly instrumental in helping him invent the first lie detector as well as the creation of Wonder Woman.

Prior to watching this film, I remember already reading an article about Marston, his work as a psychologist, his scandalous domestic life, and how he infused not-so-subtle imagery and themes of BDSM – something he was fond of and practiced – into the Wonder Woman comics.  But this film – through strong storytelling and engaging performances from its three stars – makes all of this surreal information more vivid and striking in my mind.
In a way, the film rationalizes and romanticizes polyamorous relationships.  It does utterly paint the love story among William, Elizabeth, and Olive in a sympathetic, heartfelt light.  Now, of course, in real life, I personally disagree with it a moral level.  But – just sayin’ – this is an objectively notable aspect of the film.

In the end, beyond the unusual threeway romance or any other feature, what makes Professor Marston and the Wonder Women truly fascinating is the fact that it’s a film about Wonder Woman’s creation.  I love Wonder Woman.  There is no greater female superhero than her.  She may not be everybody’s favorite comic book super heroine – I myself rank a few above her – but it can’t be denied that she’s indisputably the most popular, recognizable, and iconic.  And discovering how her conceptualization and the elements that we’ve come to know her for were shaped by deviant circumstances is sorta hilarious but mindblowing.

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