Movie Review: Professor Marston and the Wonder Woman
Ever wonder (no pun intended) the origin of a comic book superhero? Angela Robinson’s Professor Marston and the Wonder Woman tells us how Dr. William Marston created the most famous female superhero of all time, Wonder Woman. This was my first time viewing this film and had no prior knowledge of the content, except for the trailers. My mind was blown away as the film unfolded. This film may be analyzed through many lenses, and as a bisexual mother, I may have some thoughts.
Professor Marston teaches psychology at Harvard and is determined to prove the DISC theory. The theory states that every human relationship may be broken down into these categories of emotion; Dominance, Inducement, Submission, and Compliance. He hopes to prove his theory by studying a highly attractive student (Olive). Throughout the film, we see the relationship development between the trio. As expected, the film itself is split into different categories of emotion (DISC).
Elizabeth is a brilliant and accomplished woman who’s been rejected, multiple times, from receiving her Ph.D. due to her gender. She helps Bill perfect the lie detector test hoping to earn respect and recognition she eagerly deserves. After a misunderstanding between Olive and Elizabeth, the trio decides to have some drinks to get acquainted. The couple learns of Olive’s fiance, and are intrigued to know she descends from some of the most radical feminists of that time. After finding the missing piece to perfecting the lie detector test, they test it on each other. Initially, Elizabeth seems upset to learn her husband has fallen in love with Olive but soon learns that the three have fallen in love with each other. Although the three are open to having a polygamous relationship, they’re aware that society would never accept them. They seem to be happy until both Bill and Elizabeth are fired from their jobs. The three decided to live together and raise a family.
This movie has a beautiful custom design as well as gorgeous shots of nature scenery. The use of lighting was a nice touch throughout the entire film. There is a scene where Olive takes a chance of allowing herself to be with the couple. While walking towards their office, her face is in a shadow; the closer she gets, the shadow begins to fade away, symbolizing her embracing her true identity. The acting is superb with the three main characters giving phenomenal performances.
After living together as a happy family, William gets the idea of creating Wonder Woman. Many elements from William’s life are seen in Wonder Woman. Elizabeth and Olive both influenced Wonder Woman’s appearance and superpowers. The lie detector is understood in the “Lazzo of truth” where anyone who touches the lasso will tell the truth. Dr. Marston was an outspoken feminist and firmly believed that the world would be a better place if women were in power. In the film, he lectures, “If men are violent by nature, then why are men in power.”
Overall this film was a pleasant surprise. I usually don’t see bisexual relationships on screen, but sadly this relationship, in particular, adds to a common misconception. Many are under the impression that a bisexual person is inclined to be in multiple romantic relationships simultaneously. I did enjoy seeing this relationship unfold, and the way it ended very much touched me. Seeing the pictures of the real-life people and reading what happened after William passed away surprised me. I’d think that society would get the best of them, but luckily it didn’t. They lived their life as they wished and that’s the message I take from this film. Don’t let society dictate how you should live your life and with whom. Love is love, and I believe we all deserve to receive and give it.