REVIEW: Professor Marston and the Wonder Women

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REVIEW: Professor Marston and the Wonder Women

Contains Spoilers.  Contains curse words.  Contains me talking about love is love. 

I am not telling the whole setup of the movie, but will discuss certain scenes.

The movie started and five minutes in I was in love with Elizabeth Marston, played by Rebecca Hall. She is a feminist. She is out of this world smart and unfortunately living in a time that women should “know their place.” She was having none of that. We are introduced to her via her rant about not being accepted to Harvard because, “I don’t have a cock.” Her rant is filled with “fuck” and “unacceptable” and “if I were a man.” Of course the name of the movie starts with “Professor Marston” and he, played by Luke Evans, is the person Elizabeth is ranting to. He too is a feminist and loves her because she is all of the things a typical woman of the times is not.  

Professor Marston teaches his psychology and discusses his theory of behavior called DISC: Dominance, Inducement, Submission and Compliance. This theory drives the entire movie. In one of his classes he has a student named, Olive, played by Bella Heathcote. Elizabeth right away notices his looks lingering longer when he looks her way. Olive applies to be Professor Marston’s teaching assistant.  Elizabeth tells her husband that she knows he likes Olive. He, at first, denies his interest until Elizabeth tells him, “Go. I am your wife, not your jailer.”  But the next scene promptly shows Olive introducing herself to Elizabeth as Professor Marston’s new TA. Then Elizabeth tells her, “OK. But I have one request. Whatever he says or does, please don’t fuck my husband.” I laughed out loud at this bit. Well played Elizabeth. This leaves Olive very offended and she runs out of the office.  

Professor Marston finds out what Elizabeth said and he insists that she apologize to Olive. Once that happens the three of them form a working relationship. They began to test the Marston’s latest invention, the lie detector. As time progresses they become closer. One night, while testing the lie detector, Elizabeth asks if he loves Olive. He says no and the machine moves to show he is lying. Elizabeth is hurt and runs off and Olive follows her.  Olive swears to her that nothing is going on with them.  Elizabeth doesn’t believe her and Olive blurts out the truth, “I love you, not him!” Elizabeth tells her to go and she does.

Elizabeth and Professor Marston discuss Olive and whether or not it is possible to love two people at once. Olive shows up in their office one night at the college and tells them she isn’t sure why she is there. The next scene shows her hooked up to the lie detector with Professor Marston asking the questions. He asks her if she loves Elizabeth. She says no and the lie detector shows she is lying. He asks her if she loves him. She says no and the test shows she is lying. Elizabeth runs out of the office to the backstage of the theater.  Olive follows her and then they kiss. It is passionate and says the words they can’t quite say. Professor Marston finds them kissing and then Elizabeth holds her hand out for him to join them.  

The next scene is quite possibly the most erotic love scene I have ever seen in a movie.  It’s not because there are two women and a man, but because the scene is so tastefully done. There isn’t a lot of nudity, but you can see the passion between these three because  of their kisses and laughter and just enjoying being free in their love.  

They start a relationship and everything is going fine until the campus officials find out and the Marston’s lose their jobs.  Olive announces she is pregnant and then they move.  Elizabeth takes a job as a secretary and Professor Marston starts writing books. Years pass and Elizabeth has kids and Olive has another. Their story is that Olive’s husband passed away and the Marston’s took her and the kids in.

Professor Marston early on told Elizabeth that she and Olive together make the perfect woman. Throughout their time together his DISC theory is referenced.  One day he enters a shop and in the back room there is a bondage area. The next scene shows the three watching how the shop owner tying up a willing participant. This displays Professor Marston’s submission part of DISC theory.  Olive is completely transfixed and Elizabeth is appalled. They argue and Elizabeth runs out. He follows her and when they return Olive has changed into the “Wonder Woman” outfit with lasso in tow. Elizabeth asks her if that is what she wants and Olive tells her it is. Then Wonder Women is born in Professor Marstons mind.

I won’t go into the rest of the movie because you should see it for yourself.  I really can’t praise this movie enough. I really hope that Rebecca Hall wins an Oscar for this one. She is truly magnificent. The entire movie empowers women and is breathtaking. It tells the story of feminism, a polyamorous relationship and the fact that love doesn’t fit a cookie cutter image. All of this is set in the 1920s to the 1940s and it makes me sad that after all these years later the fight to love who you want and to be who you want is still an issue.

 

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