Image taken from Facebook
Rating: 4/5 stars
Written by Richard Saerang, Indonesia
Editor’s Note: This review contains some spoilers. Read at your own risk.
After months of waiting for the release of Wonder Woman 1984, I was excited to finally get to watch the long-awaited sequel to the 2017 Wonder Woman film. While I found the plot a little messy, what I did not expect was to find certain themes that related to the gospel in the movie.
Set in 1984, the movie begins with Diana Prince (played by Gal Gadot) working at the Smithsonian while secretly fighting crime as Wonder Woman. There, she befriends Barbara, a shy, awkward gemologist who also works in the museum.
Following a robbery at the mall, Barbara and Diana receive the stolen artifacts recovered by the FBI, which includes the Dreamstone—a stone that supposedly makes the holder’s wish come true. Believing the stone to be a fake, Diana unknowingly uses the stone by wishing for the return of her deceased lover, Steve Trevor. Barbara wishes for something, too—to be like Diana, strong, beautiful, confident.
Later on, we find out that the Dreamstone was created by Dolos, the god of lies and deception. Even though the Dreamstone grants wishes, it will take the wisher’s most valued possession in return.
The True Villains
For those who have seen the film, it might be easy to assume that the only villains are the characters who did everything to keep the stone; or perhaps Dolos, the god who created the stone. But the way I see it, the true villains are actually the ones who use the stone to make a wish, including Diana.
As the movie unfolds, it becomes clear that everybody who gets access to the stone wishes for something for their own gain. But when things start to fall apart, they were not willing to give up what they wished for, even when they realise their wishes are starting to hurt others. Diana refuses to give Steve up, at a great cost. Barbara gets addicted to all the attention and power she receives and becomes a different person.
It is just as the Bible says, that when we’re left to ourselves, we cannot truly wish for what is good, because evil is not just around us but within us. Jeremiah 17:9 says, “The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?” Deep down, we know that we will never be truly satisfied with what our hearts want. Instead, just as one of the characters put it, “the answer is always more”.
And yet, we live in a world that tells us to follow our heart and our desires. The idea is, “as long as you don’t hurt somebody, do it!” But “follow your heart” is actually a lie that the devil wants us to believe. And we see the destructive truth behind this lie in the movie.
Seeing The Truth
In Wonder Woman 1984, we see Diana using the Lasso of Truth to fight evil. She explains how it works, saying that “The truth is what powers it, not me. The truth is bigger than all of us.” Diana’s great power comes not in her supernatural strength, but in how she is able to shed light on the truth. She uses the lasso to show everyone what their wishes are costing them, even as they all followed their hearts’ desires.
No doubt we all have our own wishes, dreams, and desires. For some of us, we may want everything to be different from what we have right now—to be born of a different sex, or race; or, for those like me who come from a broken home, to have a different set of parents; to go to a different school or university, or be in a relationship with a different person; to be able to change all the decisions you’ve made before so your life doesn’t end up the way it is now.
Just as Diana said, we wish for these things because we don’t want to suffer. We want to live in a world where everything works out beautifully for us. Sadly, we can’t have that, because we live in a sinful world, and suffering is a consequence of that. Even when we suffer because of other people’s sins, we are equally guilty of sin, because when push comes to shove, we will put ourselves—our desire and our happiness—above everything else. This is why it was difficult for everyone, including Diana, to renounce their wishes.
What is the Truth?
Diana tells the world to look to the truth: “This world was a beautiful place just as it was and you cannot have it all. You can only have the truth. And the truth is enough. The truth is beautiful. So look at this world and look at what your wish is costing it…what is it costing you? Do you see the truth?”
As lovely as it all sounds, Diana doesn’t explain what this truth really is. She says it is powerful, it is beautiful, and it is enough, but these don’t tell us what makes truth ‘truth’.
The truth is, our world is broken, and we strive and strive, but we cannot get everything we want; and deep down, we are all flawed and incomplete, and yet we all want to be seen, to be cared for, to be loved.But thankfully for us, the truth does not end there, because we have the Bible that not only shows us truth, but points us to the source of truth—Jesus Himself (John 14:6).
For those of us who believe in Jesus, we already have Someone who sees and loves us (Isaiah 43:4a). Just as the child said to his father at the end of the movie, “you don’t ever have to make a wish for me to love you”—these same words apply to us when we receive Christ and His love. Even in all our brokenness, Jesus loves us as we are.
The truth is, we cannot follow our hearts to be good or to do good. We can make all the wishes we want, but until we see and know the Truth, we will never be satisfied.
However, Jesus being the Truth does not spare us from our earthly suffering. He does not make the world we have now perfect. But He does give us the truth we need to be free from sin and live in hope. Because of Him, we can hold on to these truths: He loves us and has saved us from the worst fate (Romans 5:8-9); He gives us incomparable peace (John 14:27); and He is our blessed hope (Titus 2:13).