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Zapped of my own strength in this pandemic, I binge watched WandaVision, and felt a certain strength, drawn from Wanda’s superpowers.
When I binge-watched this show I had felt a certain strength, drawn from Wanda’s superpowers.
At the recently concluded MTV Movie and TV awards, WandaVision was quite a stir, walking away with awards in four categories.
Wanda, a lesser explored character in Avengers’ universe had her own world inside WandaVision series.
Wanda’s magic took me to the childhood days of Tinker Bell and pixie dust. Does a woman still believe in pixie dust and make real-world problems vanish? WandaVision is a show that kind of recreates this fairytale-ish wish.
During this pandemic, we have all shared a bit of the supernatural power, turning into chefs, tutors, storytellers, sports coaches, and gaming partners for our children. Zapped of my own strength, I was happy to click on WandaVision.
To set a background, Wanda is the character endowed with limitless power to control minds, and Vision is a synthezoid, synthetic humanoid robot. In the show, the couple needs to act normal and amalgamate with the people of their town.
Why did I identify with Wanda so much? For one, in this series, Wanda is restricted within the boundary of a town and spends most of her time inside her home. She is dealing with loss and grief; there is isolation, loneliness, and fear of losing the present. Her fears stem from her tumultuous past of troubled childhood, then her brother’s death, and the final blow of losing Vision. This emotional quotient catapults one to her character.
The first episode of WandaVision had such a refreshing format. It had a nostalgic feel, taking one back to the television shows from the earlier black and white times.
Wanda and Vision move into the town of Westview, a place that has magically sprouted on the country’s map and is shielded by an invisible boundary that no outsider can cross. Now you are amid Wanda’s failed attempts at accomplishing household chores. And…Yay! Wanda’s superpowers aren’t enough to ensure a proper dinner for Vision’s office boss and his wife. The magical powers are either bit too much or far too little. Lesson learned – you can always serve breakfast for dinner and smile your way through a tumultuous fine-dining task thrown at you.
On the superhero front, one would wonder that an alternate reality for Avengers would be a perfect romantic rendezvous inside a Stark-tower parallel. But to imagine a superhero’s alternate reality to be a family sitcom doesn’t enter one’s wildest imagination.
Wanda’s prime concern in this show is to have her little world aka her family protected from the external forces. In Marvel’s universe, the superheroes have wielded their powers to save the world but Wanda chooses her powers to save her family.
In Westview, everyone seems to have forgotten their past. And, Vision is tormented by the same fact. Vision wants to remember his life before Westview and make sense of his present.
In a confrontational scene, Wanda questions if it isn’t enough for Vision to be just her husband and father to their children. She says for her, family means everything. In one of the scenes, a character says if anyone came closer to getting Thanos, it was Wanda, the Scarlett Witch. Yet, for Wanda, her family is more important.
It is true for most women who quit their professions to be there for their families. The quest for a bigger identity outside the purview of one’s household takes a backseat for many women, as they happily choose to nurture the well-being of their family.
On the lighter note, a fun part of the show was Wanda trying to blend in with the neighbourhood community, countering the nosy neighbours while being put down in the women’s social meeting. Wanda is lost in the women’s world of ‘fitting in’, with clothes and mannerisms that give no leeway to superheroes!
We, then enter the phase of superheroes embracing parenthood. Wanda and Vision have twin boys. Well, I thought they have magic and synthezoid abilities by their side but Wanda’s magic cannot stop her infants from crying. When Agnes, Wanda’s neighbour comes to help her with the twins, Vision is nervous about her handling their children. Setting aside the father’s concerns, Wanda is way too exhausted to decline the help at hand. Nonetheless, Vision as the ‘human sythezoid’ fathering the twins is an adorable.
Wanda’s ability to be patient with her children is heart-touching. She is a protective mother, who could bend all rules but teaches her children to accept loss. When the boys find their pet dog dead, they are inconsolable but Wanda refuses to bring the dog back to life. She could have altered the reality or as the children propose, the two could simply skip past the tragic moment. Wanda explains to them that they need to face the situation and overcome their emotions.
“We can’t just rush aging because it’s convenient and we can’t reverse death no matter how sad it makes us. Some things are forever.”
Wanda has a perfect family, her magic to protect them and still, there are distances created between her and Vision. In one of the scenes, she tells her twins that it may seem that their parents are not on the same page but it is just temporary. It is a moment where you realize the permanence of love holding Wanda and Vision together. It is this unusual superhero trajectory that keeps one looking forward to the story, episode after episode.
Surely, I think in 2021, my favourite onscreen pair has to be Elizabeth Olsen and Paul Bettany. The pain in Elizabeth Olsen’s eyes, the longing, and love just connected me with Wanda. A much-deserved award for her, and a treat to watch for the audiences.
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A book lover and a keen social observer. Started career as a Journalist and then
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