Dreams: A Beautiful Paradox

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Dear Quiet Minds,

Isn’t it amazing how closing your eyes can open up a world without limits?

To me, dreams are the closest you can get to magic because the new worlds your mind is able to create are infinite. After doing some research, I found that this happens because the nerve cells in your brain stem start to fire sporadically, sending erratic signals. Many experts believe that your brain tries to comprehend all these signals and make sense of them by creating dreams. However, your dreams do not start the moment you close your eyes. It slowly occurs in stages. In stage one, you delve into a very light sleep and can be easily awoken. In stage two, your eyes stop moving and your brain waves slow down. Then in stage three and four, you start to experience nightmares or even start to sleepwalk or sleep-talk. The most difficult stage to enter is stage five which is known as REM sleep. Our body becomes temporarily paralyzed and takes certain measures to avoid disruptions that could awaken us from this deep, deep sleep. This is where the dreams we remember get weirder and weirder.

Often times, I’ve had very vivid dreams that mimic reality so seamlessly, making it harder to decipher the difference. Dreams can transform our memories into the most whimsical dreams or the most terrifying nightmares. I have experienced dreams where my fears have disguised themselves as a very true reality, speeding up my heartbeat. I wake up teary-eyed or panting for breath. The fact that my fears solidify in front of me so clearly and come racing at me makes it difficult to believe it’s not real. However, I believe that these dreams are your opportunity to try and face those fears in a simulation. Unfortunately, unless you are aware that you’re dreaming, overcoming that fear is very unlikely. Whenever I have to face a fear sometimes I am able to find the courage to surpass it, but more often than not, I am paralyzed and watch the worst occur before me. Although nightmares are the ultimate downside to sleeping, dreams are a beautiful paradox.

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Dreams can be both good and bad. The most terrifying forest can morph into a palace of lavender skies and fluorescent flowers, just like the memory of a lovely family gathering can turn into an unexpected funeral. Dreams are a contradiction that we pay the price for every time we close our eyes. Dreams have the liberty of letting loose our fear or turning our fantasies into a reality. Recently, I have seen the beauty of dreams. After having various nightmares back to back, a few nights ago I experienced a very enchanting dream. It reminded me of the brain’s superhuman capacity to construct the most elaborately intricate landscapes that put your reality to shame. In my dream, I remember opening a door to a beautiful coral sky reflecting over a vast ocean that disappeared over the horizon. Swans, white stallions and mystical creatures that could only be created by the limitless imagination walked majestically across the colorful waters. When I woke up, I was amazed at how my brain could create such a magical landscape and I was reminded of why dreams are so special.

Our ability to create dreams and nightmares allows us to overcome fears and realize desires that transcend the capacity of our awake minds.

So next time you close your eyes and encounter a closed door, open it and explore your dreams.

Live the beautiful paradox.

Love,
Jackie

Troubling Comparisons

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Dear Quiet Minds,

“Alone, I am satisfied. With others, I am beset by troubling comparisons.”
-Mason Cooley

Why are we constantly affected by troubling comparisons?

Often times, I find that when I am alone, it is very easy for me to know what I value and what I care about. Everything is much simpler when the only person I need to compete with is myself because there is no rush to be the best. I see myself in a much better light because there is no standard or expectation that I have to achieve. Many of my problems become small obstacles that can be overcome with quick solutions. However, when I am amongst others, I notice how successful others are, whether it be in career or appearance. I start to feel like I am not taking the appropriate actions to reach the “correct” level of success. More times than not, we compare ourselves to others in order to determine how successful we are in life. This is known as the social comparison theory.

Unfortunately, many of us end up following this social comparison theory in our everyday life. For example, even if I am passing all my classes in school, if I see someone who has an internship or a job, I feel as though I am not advancing the way I’m supposed to. I make myself believe that there are specific steps I must take and I find that I am on the first while everyone else is nearing the end. This way of thinking can easily bring down my spirits and although I understand that everyone moves forward in different ways and at different speeds, it still feels like I am lagging behind the rest. We often stand in front of a mirror hoping to see someone else, but find ourselves disappointed. Accepting ourselves the way we are is the step that many of us fail to take.

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We have to accept that everyone on earth is like a grain of sand, unique in shape, color, depth and delicacy. We can’t aim to become the same as someone else because ultimately, that can cause us to stray from our maximum potential. Not everyone was meant to follow the same path to success. Every person has a different path that leads to a different type of success. It all depends on what your goals in life are. Therefore, comparing ourselves to others becomes a pointless matter when everyone around you has a different purpose. Unfortunately, it’s easier said than done because comparing ourselves is something instinctual that we find ourselves randomly doing. However, I propose that we catch ourselves during those moments. Whenever you notice yourself making troubling comparisons and start feeling smaller than everyone else, remember the things that make you unique and the qualities that people love about you. Make yourself believe that the more different you are from everyone else, the more successful you are becoming.

Don’t ever allow the success of others to determine your worth.

Love,
Jackie

Failure: A Creeping Shadow

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Dear Quiet Minds,

It is impossible to live without failing at something unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not have lived at all.
-J.K. Rowling

Failure is like an eerie, dark fence enclosed around your mind. Whenever you think of a dream or a goal that you want to accomplish, there comes a point when you reach the fence surrounding your mind and can’t go any further. Failure is inevitable. In some places, you will be able to succeed exceptionally, but in many other areas, you will easily fail. You touch the damp wooden fence, feel its splinters and realize that you can’t achieve a dream. You allow the fear to consume you. Sometimes fearing failure is what ultimately causes you to fail. It is a shadow that constantly follows you, creeping into the deepest desires of your heart. This is what stops us from growing into our full potential. As Tullian Tchividjian once said, “The deepest fear we have, ‘the fear beneath all fears,’ is the fear of not measuring up, the fear of judgment. It’s this fear that creates the stress and depression of everyday life.”

I constantly feel like I am not measuring up because of my fears to fail. This, in the end, causes a vicious cycle where your fears of not measuring up cause you to give up on your dreams and because you fail you don’t measure up. Coming round full circle is what impedes you from taking on new projects because you don’t see how much you can offer. Unfortunately, fearlessness is not an easy trait to come by because experiences and social constructs introduce you to fears that you don’t know how to approach with courage. Like your own shadow, failure is always with you, popping up in the worst possible moments.

Recently I’ve feared writing a book. Ever since I was in middle school, I have dreamed of being an author and seeing my book on the shelves of stores. However, I’ve also read many books and found that there are so many authors out there that have a talent with words. It’s a talent that they may have gained naturally and due to the large number of experts in the writing field, I fear that my talents have not reached those heights. However, because of this, I push book ideas to the back of my mind where they eventually fall into the abyss of insignificance. All the details and characters that I created fizzle out into nothingness until I can’t remember what my ideas were to begin with.

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This sad parting makes me feel like I’ve lost something very important. It’s an idea that I can never return to its original state because of all the times it got lost in the back of my mind. This is ultimately when you start living so cautiously, like Rowling said, that you enter a state of dwelling on your dreams and forget to live. I’ve been living cautiously these past few years, allowing schoolwork to consume me, but I’ve realized that once school ends, time would have been wasted. I need to start acting. Although the shadow called Failure will always be with me, I have to start turning on the light and allow it to illuminate my dreams and hide the shadows. Even though the shadow is still there, lighting the right path to your dreams and walking that path will allow you to feel much more productive and happy.

Remember failure is inevitable, but dreams are one in a million. Take action before they get lost in your quiet mind.

Love,
Jackie

Returning to Platform 9 ¾

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Dear Quiet Minds,

On July 21, 2007, we were blessed with the release of the last Harry Potter book, also known as Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. This year marks ten years after the Battle of Hogwarts and still Muggles all around the world remain enticed by the wizarding world of Harry Potter that J.K. Rowling created twenty years ago. I remember growing up with Harry, Ron and Hermione throughout my adolescence. Like many others, I desperately awaited the arrival of my fictitious Hogwarts letter and constantly took quizzes to see which house I would be sorted into, what Animagus I would transform into or what my Patronus would be. As I read J.K. Rowling’s every word, I could imagine myself walking down Diagon Alley to pick out my wand or stopping by Fred and George’s joke shop, Weasleys’ Wizard Wheezes. The thought of drinking Butterbeer at Hogsmeade or eating Chocolate Frogs and Bertie Bott’s Every Flavor Bean on the Hogwarts Express brought me so much joy.

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The Boy Who Lived. Who knew those words would change our lives forever, linking people together from all around the world and creating an unfathomably large fanbase that would never falter despite the passing years. It’s amazing to see how J.K. Rowling was able to create something so original through the magic of her words. She represents the success of a quiet mind. She wrote for years, living in a magical world all alone as she kept Harry a secret. She wrote sections of her novel by hand, keeping a list of every character and even writing backstories for multiple characters that we never even heard of in the books. Even when the movies were being filmed and actors wanted to know what happened to their characters, she would maintain various plot twists a secret. In an interview, she even admitted to keeping certain parts of her book a secret from her husband. As she built and cultivated this wizarding world, she remained very quiet thus making the books even more extraordinary upon their release. I think one of J.K. Rowling’s largest successes was the way she created her magic system through the use of simple logic, making it completely believable. She delved into her imagination with no parachute and produced a story that touched multiple hearts.

Another success of hers was her ability to create multi-faceted characters. None were either fully good or bad. They all had their secrets and surprises which truly kept everyone on the edge of their seats. Rowling created strong, beautiful friendships that supported each other until the very last page. Without the help of Ron and Hermione, Harry would have never been introduced to the power of love and friendship. Rowling also created the loving Weasley family, the wise Albus Dumbledore and an extended family for Harry through Lupin, Sirius and many other characters. As the series progressed, Harry’s story become more dark with the introduction of the Dementors, which reflected Rowling’s views on life and death. Despite these dark moments, Rowling made sure to maintain humor within her novels which truly filled the books with everything a reader could want. Rowling ultimately showed the world that if a mother’s love saved a child from the darkest wizard of all time, then what can be more powerful than love in this world. It’s such a beautiful message that popularized reading amongst adolescents and taught children to love family, never stray from the imagination within themselves and be happy. As Dumbledore once said, “happiness can be found even in the darkest of times if one only remembers to turn on the light”. And J.K. Rowling turned on that light for many.

Overall, I want to thank J.K. Rowling for Harry’s bravery, Hermione’s intelligence and Ron’s humor for without them, my life would be much duller. As I reread this series this year, nostalgia and appreciation poured into my heart. I have found that as I read, Dumbledore tells me everything I need to hear. All the hidden messages and magic coalesced in every chapter fills me with an overwhelming sense of joy to have witnessed the innerworkings of J.K. Rowling’s quiet mind.

Although it has been long since the last book was released, the story will never die.

For we were with Harry way before the Battle of Hogwarts and will remain with him until the very end.

Always.

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Love,
Jackie

If you solemnly swear you are up to no good, check out these amazing interviews to relive the magic of Harry Potter:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7BdVHWz1DPU

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gTotbiUjLxw

Mischief managed!

Worlds Within a Frame

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Dear Quiet Minds,

What does photography mean to you?

For some, photography is just a pretty picture they can like on Facebook or Instagram. It’s a picture that they can show to their friends after an amazing vacation. For others, it’s their outlet. They have the freedom and creative control to capture anything they like in the world. It isn’t for likes or attention, but for feeling. Capturing a piece of reality is like writing love letters to the world. You find something beautiful that others may not see and by capturing it, you open their eyes to hidden luxuries. I’ve always loved taking pictures, but I was never very active on social media so getting likes was hardly my motive. However, photography was not something I focused on often and it was only last year that I really fell in love with it. Absentmindedly, I would capture moments—maybe the sunset that everyone sees or the ripple in the ocean that few notice— and it made me feel happy. Photography helps you remember not only how something looks but how you felt when you saw it. Last year, when I went to Niagara Falls with my family I started to take many pictures with my iPhone 4 (which did its job despite the desperate need for an upgrade). I loved to go down on my knees or look through a hole in the wall and find the little things that no one else was paying attention to.

Often times when I took a picture that looked exactly like someone else’s I would get annoyed. Too many people take pictures of the same thing, so why even capture anything at all? Until I realized that one moment can be framed and captured in so many ways. Every photographer has a different lens through which they interpret the world. This magic was what truly attracted me to photography because I realized that my photography could show people how I view life. Seeing the beauty of the world through different lens was a captivating discovery. Even though I had an old iPhone and no idea how to be a photographer, I felt connected to my surroundings. After my trip to the Falls, I got my first camera for Christmas: the Canon Rebel T6. I had absolutely no clue how to use it but it was an opportunity for me to finally be creative. Luckily, I was able to take my first camera out for a spin on a trip to Tennessee where many national parks resided. I could crouch low to the ground and take a picture of an acorn or a branch filled with fungus just to capture the unimaginable beauty of things frequently overlooked, even if my family thought I was crazy.

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To me, photography captures many worlds within a frame. Take the picture of the branch for example. How the fungus grew and developed is an entire world unexplored. We didn’t get to see how it got there, but within one frame, we see a living thing exist peacefully untouched. It could still be there today or could have been destroyed by forces of nature but through this picture, it is still alive for everyone to see. That’s the magic of photography. It is a free gift for anyone to enjoy. It expresses something through the simple beauty of sight. No words are needed to explain what is happening because all is left to the interpreter.

One frame can mean a million things to a million people or simply exist with no meaning or purpose at all.

Just beauty.

Love,
Jackie

Spider-man: Homecoming SPOILER-FREE Review

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Spidey has been in our lives for generations and after fifteen years, we are on our third movie reboot. We have had both Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield as Peter Parker in the past who excelled in portraying different aspects of the character. Many loved Tobey Maguire’s portrayal of Peter Parker while others loved Andrew Garfield’s portrayal of Spiderman. However, fans disliked that Maguire and Garfield were much too old for the role. With both being in their late twenties while filming, the high school aspect of those movies was pretty unrealistic and in the end, unrelatable. Therefore, I didn’t know what to expect when going to watch Spider-man: Homecoming. With 21-year-old Tom Holland portraying Spider-man in what-I-hope-to-be the final reboot, I knew that the producers finally found a young actor that could pass for a high schooler. Thus, giving me hope that this might be the most accurate portrayal of our friendly Neighborhood Spiderman.

After watching the film, I was very pleased with the outcome. The film’s opening scene was a bit confusing until I was able to figure out that we were being introduced to the film’s main villain. I liked the ambiguity because they were able to present Michael Keaton’s Adrian Toomes, also known as Vulture, as an innocent man who had a valid reason for becoming bad. Michael Keaton portrayed Adrian Toomes as a multi-faceted character. His calm, intimidating composure and reputation as a family man throughout the film really made the audience understand his character which gave Peter a complicated opponent to combat. Another likeable character that was on the other side of the spectrum was Robert Downey Jr.’s Iron Man/Tony Stark who acted as a mentor to Peter Parker. He was still his funny, arrogant self but also become a father figure by caring for Peter and protecting him. Although Tony Stark introduced Peter Parker in Captain America: Civil War, Tony and Peter had more interactions during this film which really solidified Sony and Marvel’s plan to incorporate Spiderman into the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

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With Spiderman already introduced, this film decided to move away from yet another origin story and focus on Peter’s transformation from an immature superhero to someone worthy of being an Avenger. Which brings me to Tom Holland’s portrayal of Peter Parker, which was nothing short of amazing. Holland gave Peter Parker the nerdy awkwardness that fans love and gave Spiderman the spontaneous comic relief that was really lacking in the previous franchises. Rather than focusing on all the action, this film focused on Peter Parker as a high school student who has problems with homework, girls and fitting in, which is something all millennials can relate to. Don’t get me wrong, the film was still packed with a plethora of action scenes that provided the audience with the iconic Spidey humor. Seeing Peter as a normal high schooler was very believable this time. Not only because he was younger, but also because his responsibilities as Spiderman were mixed with his responsibilities as a student which created a very interesting dynamic as he tried to balance both. Director Jon Watts also nailed the high school aspect of the film by including everything from an academic decathalon to a homecoming dance.

Also, Peter’s best friend called Ned, portrayed by Jacob Batalon, offered a lot of comic relief to the film and truly embodied the importance of a sidekick. His loyalty and friendship grounded Peter and kept Peter from allowing Spiderman’s popularity to get to his head. Besides Ned, Peter also had a crush on Liz, portrayed by Lauren Harrier, who was a minor love interest of his in the comics. Not having to follow Gwen Stacy and Mary Jane in this film was refreshing because it gave me as an audience member a new storyline to explore. Also, Peter’s bully, Flash Thompson, was portrayed by Tony Revolori in a very different way. He competed with Peter in a more intellectual level rather than with kicks and punches, which introduced a new perception of the typical bully. Another minor yet still much appreciated character was Michelle, a loner whose one liners were epic. Initially, I felt that her character was unnecessary but once I saw her first scene, Michelle became one of my favorite characters and the one I could most relate to. Zendaya portrayed Michelle as a strong, intelligent student who was very quiet and observant, but my favorite aspect of her character is a spoiler so you’ll just have to wait and see the twist at the end of the film.

Ultimately, this film had a few irregularities with the storyline but after so many reboots, a new spin on the character was much needed. This new and improved Spiderman made me fall in love with the character all over again. So, make sure to catch Spider-man: Homecoming in theaters. It was definitely worth the hype.

 

 

The Little, Really Big Things

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Dear Quiet Minds,

“Enjoy the little things in life for one day you’ll look back and realize they were the big things.”
-Robert Brault

For being so little, these little things are everywhere. They are the extra “I love you’s” and the goodnight kisses. They’re the apologies even when you know you’re right or the details you notice when your friends or family don’t. These small acts are enough to brighten up anyone’s day in a second. It truly is amazing how something so small and quick can completely change the course of your day. When you hold back a sigh after being ordered to complete a chore or when you hold on extra tight during a hug, it shows people you care. When a friend is in a bad mood, remembering what flowers or chocolates were their favorite is a beautiful thing. Sometimes something as small as remembering one detail can cause a friend to look at life in a new light. Those little acts of giving are what stay with people forever. They are as simple as a stranger’s smile or as annoying as an extra “Are you okay?”. They have the power to classify your day as good or bad because just as a smile can brighten your day, something as minute as an eye roll can darken it. They are so important because they show you your worth, they give you a reason to live.

These little things come into fruition in multiple ways. Sometimes you give it to others, sometimes others give it to you, but many times life gives it to you. Life does not discriminate and; therefore, gives everyone – whether good or bad – little gifts of happiness in the form of nature. Of course, only good people are the ones who truly appreciate them, but nonetheless, they are given. Sometimes, looking up at the white clouds dancing in a sea of blue can force us to realize the beauty in our lives. Although the sky is a very large thing, our internal battles stop us from seeing it, so life sends us precious moments, hoping to catch our attention. When we look up, we have the sky and when we look down, we have a sea of color: grass, flowers, insects, soil. A world of miniscule wonders that we don’t entirely know about. We are surrounded by plants of so many shapes and sizes, filled with intricacies. A plant can be a long colorless stem or a tiny puff filled with infinite shades of yellows and browns. All these details are for those who take the time to notice and enjoy.

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It’s mind boggling how little things can be found in the vast world of nature and in the enigmas of humanity. The little acts of kindness created by people and the gifts in nature can humble, calm and teach you how to live happily.

So keep your eyes opened, try to see and appreciate as many little things as you can.

Because over time, these little things accumulate…

And end up becoming the biggest part of your heart.

Love,
Jackie

Intuition: The Key to Your Trapped Mind

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Dear Quiet Minds,

Today, I am making an open letter apology to my gut because I didn’t listen to it. I know, I know, I failed, but how can one listen to their gut when everyone else’s voice is overlapping into chaos. It all becomes so loud that the gut gets tired and lays back in defeat. It’s truly a shame because you know that what you feel inside is right but parents, friends, people just grip you tight and pull you into a different direction. It makes me feel trapped because once you act against your gut, the prison bars are pulled before you and you are stuck with an unwanted cellmate: the decision that wasn’t yours. I fail to understand why our guts can’t take over our mind, why the gut feeling can’t be justifiable in times of decision-making. Only after do you realize all the reasons why you were right even though it is already too late. Today, I had such a deep feeling and knew exactly how everything was going to play out, but what happened? Oh yes, I went against my instinct and my gut was fuming with anger. I knew the consequences, I knew the emotional impact it would have on me and yet, I allowed the people around me to make my decisions.

This is devastating. When you’re an inexperienced adult living in a competent adult world, it is very difficult to understand how you should act. No one is there to tell you “listen to this person”, “follow your gut on this one”, or “don’t you dare.” It’s just you and your gut who is grabbing your stomach and wringing it like a damp towel as many times as possible. It especially sucks when your decisions affect other people. You find yourself apologizing for a decision that wasn’t even yours, but the person you affected uses that decision to define you and in the end, the mindset they attribute to you is yet again not yours. And that really locks the barred doors shut because after that, how can you change their mind? Or will you even be able to do so? You’re left wondering what they’re thinking of you or if you just ruined an opportunity. You’re just pushed against the wall which in the end, will leave you tear-streaked and grief stricken as you bid goodbye to that beautiful possibility that could have become a reality if you had just listened to your gut feeling.

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So now, I warn you to avoid ignoring your gut. Even if other people’s suggestions look like mesmerizing, hypnotizing blue roses that beckon you, don’t ignore your gut because you’ll end up deceived and trapped. Of course, I’m not trying to stop you from listening to any kind of advice because you need the advice of parents, friends and even strangers sometimes, but be mindful of what your intuition is telling you. Listen to what everyone has to say and that includes what you have to say too. Just because everyone is louder than you doesn’t make your voice any less important. Therefore, I suggest you always listen even if you disagree, but never allow your blind faith in intuition to make you prideful because then you’ll mistake your ego for your gut. Even if everyone thinks you’re crazy, sometimes you just have to follow your gut feeling and use it as the key to free your trapped mind.

“Never apologize for trusting your intuition – your brain can play tricks, your heart can blind, but your gut is always right.”
-Rachel Wolchin

Sorry, Gut.

Love,
Jackie

 

Thank you, Dads!

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Dear Quiet Minds,

Yesterday was Father’s Day and although these lovely men didn’t birth us, we have to appreciate all the dads in the world who put up with us in our terrible threes, awkward adolescence and unbearable teen years. For us girls, our dads were there to make our lopsided ponytails when mom had to go to work, they were the barbecue masters, the bug killers, the personal chauffeurs. For guys, they were there to guide them into manhood and if they didn’t want to take the path to manhood, dads were there to support their sons and protect them from anyone who thought they were different. Dads are also the goofballs of the family. When mom’s trying to lay down the law, they are the softies, the one’s that break character.

They have their crazy stories from way-back-when and their philosophical life lessons that they bring up all the time. Sometimes, they may seem like know-it-alls and their life lessons may get annoying, but imagine a world without the lessons and the constant advice. It would be dull and gray if it were not for the enlightenment and laughter that come with each story. They work their butts off every day and the least we could do is listen to their memories, celebrate their past and help make their futures a little brighter. Having our dads and moms just makes a perfect blend of love and unpredictability as they both struggle to raise us the best way they can.

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So, let’s take this moment to thank our dads. Thank them for their jokes, their inability to take us seriously sometimes. For their unpredictability, their screams, their constant life lessons. They are there to motivate us, inspire us and constantly work to build us a better life. Although Father’s Day has passed, appreciating our fathers is something we should do every day. They are the iron hands that lift us up when we are down and the laughter we need to smile each and every day. Without them, our moms probably wouldn’t be going crazy, but sometimes a little crazy is what makes our lives happier.

So, go to your father and listen to his stories.

Even if it’s the same one from last time.

Because life wouldn’t be the same without our dads.

Love,
Jackie

Wonder Woman SPOILER-FREE Review

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Wonder Woman, directed by Patty Jenkins, is about a young woman named Diana (Gal Gadot) who lives on Themyscira, an island that Zeus isolated from the entire world filled with Amazons who are female warriors. Diana is raised by her mother Hippolyta (Connie Nielsen) and her aunt Antiope (Robin Wright). They train her to become a very powerful fighter, but when she rescues an American pilot named Steve Trevor (Chris Pine) from the ocean, she discovers that all this time “the war to end all wars” has been brewing. This film was very empowering. Unlike many superhero movies that often times get lost in the fighting, Wonder Woman brought to light a very refreshing storyline. In the beginning, Diana had a fixed mindset and believed that mankind had been corrupted and controlled by the god of war, Ares. However, as she is thrust into the world of man, she spends more time with Steve, Sameer (Saïd Taghmaoui) Charlie (Ewen Bremner) and the Chief (Eugene Brave Rock) who gradually start to change her way of thinking. In movies like the Avengers, Thor and Captain America, the superheroes are backed up by other superheroes or super intelligence agencies but in this film, she was supported by four other men who stood by her side despite their lack of superpowers.

The cinematography was beautifully choreographed. I was very glad to see a variety of different shots that made the film extremely artistic. Also, the characters were perfectly casted. Gal Gadot portrayed Diana with a fierceness that not only emitted strength and independence but also a tenderness that all women can relate to. Her readiness to protect and astonishment at the atrocities of war really demonstrated her kindness and desire to help people. She wasn’t fighting because she was a hero and that’s what she needed to do, she was fighting because she wanted peace amongst humanity. Chris Pine’s Steve Trevor was, in my opinion, the perfect male love interest. He added humor to the film through his awkwardness and perfect dialogue. Rather than evoke a sense of male pride, Steve recognized the defects of man and genuinely wanted to help stop the war. I loved that rather than try to be the hero, he let Diana be the strongest one and backed her up whenever she needed it. The other characters such as Sameer, Charlie and the Chief were also by Diana’s side. Despite the harm that the war had caused them and their differences, they all stuck together and showed Diana the strength of friendship. In the end, the secondary characters ended up becoming just as important as Wonder Woman herself.

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I also wanted to take a moment to praise the director Patty Jenkins who had been striving to make this film for 13 years. Ever since she earned any success in Hollywood, she had been attempting to persuade Warner Bros to let her make the film. Thank god, her 13-year journey is over because the final product was absolutely amazing. It’s been awhile since I last saw a superhero movie and watching this one really reminded me why superheroes want to protect humanity in the first place. Furthermore, it was a perfect film for little girls and women in general because not only did Diana act as a symbol of femininity, but Patty Jenkins’ success was an inspiration. It reminded us that woman too can make movies and not only romance movies, but action films that both genders can watch and enjoy. Ultimately, Wonder Woman is a great addition to the superhero franchise. Diana entered humanity believing that ending Ares would make all corruption disappear but discovered that humanity is multi-faceted and despite our flaws, we have a goodness in our hearts called love. Sending young boys and girls this message of believing in love and the goodness of humanity is very important nowadays.

So, next time you go to the movies, I highly recommend you watch this film. It has the perfect dose of action, romance and depth to either change your perception or send you through an action-packed rollercoaster.