|Black Panther film poster.|
Although not the originally slated four hours that anxious fans desperately hoped for, the shorter run time still had plenty of juicy appeal to satisfy the appetite for all things African. This film is definitely not the average Marvel verse. At last, we see ourselves, our ancestral pride stitched in every detail. From the far and wide casting choices of black American, Kenyan, Zimbabwean, Ugandan, Rwandan actors/actresses to the elaborate costumes that pay homage to roots, to the jewelry to the sights of drums and dance and ritual to face painting, hair styles, makeup, fashion, language (both phonemic and hand communication) and scenery. Every ingredient unifies the world of Wakanda, taking audiences to a place they’ve always wanted to go, but rarely realized it could finally happen.
|Nakia (Lupita Nyong'o), T'Challa (Chadwick Boseman), and Okoye (Danai Gurira) are now home.|
Like an eloquent black Eve bearing an apple of fruitful knowledge, Nakia, refusing to be wife, offers T'Challa the first taste of forbidden resistance. She wants to share Wakanda to those in need, to generously spread the great wealth of resources all over the world, especially to black people. This is where they differ. T'Challa wants to stick with Wakandan tradition, to remain apart, and continue on with sacred, privileged black utopia. They are on opposing sides, but the love they have for Wakanda and for one another is a delightful. refreshing energy. Their banter, their looks into each other's eyes, their handholding, and their kissing is that splendid, exasperating thing, the first black on black heterosexual love story shown in the Marvel films.
T'Challa is reluctant, but is ready to be a remarkable leader. At the same time, he is not his father. He is tested throughout, challenged to consider exactly where Wakanda's loyalties lie. In his eventual pursuit of Klaue, he faces being surveillanced under the scrutiny of public eye and finding out some disheartening truths about his father, who had once said in the astral plane, "that a father who cannot prepare his son for the future has failed as a father."
The hypocrisy levels definitely tore T'Challas's fatherly love and admiration asunder. There is no question that what the former Wakandan king had did a horrific, inexcusable wrong.
|Erik Killmonger (Michael B. Jordan) faces off against T'Challa (Chadwick Boseman).|
The heart of the film is finding one self conflicted between T’Challa and Erik, finding both sides wrong and right on different political and social parallels. That wherein the genius.
|Okoye (Danai Gurira) and her beloved spear taking names in the midst of an awesome car chase.|
|Nakia (Lupita Nyong'o) and Princess Shuri (Letitia Wright) are ready to fight for their country.|
In the forests near the mountains of Gorilla City, Jabari
s Tribe, Queen Ramonda (Angela Bassett) and Shuri (Letitia Wright).
Other must see highlights: Nakia's first secret mission of freeing captive women (because of its heartbreaking reminder of "Bring Back Our Girls," a movement to finding the missing kidnapped girls from Chibok in Borno State, Nigeria); Killmonger wisely informing a curator of the Museum of Great Britain that they stole artifacts from Africa (because us knowledged people cannot imagine Africans gifting precious artworks to "The Other" aka colonizers); M'Baku and his people barking over Agent Everett Ross, telling him that he couldn't talk (because white people constantly tend to speak over black people). A sweet Moonlight actor makes a cameo at the end (because this brings to full circle the monumental range of diaspora unleashed in this film, us brown and darker skinned complexions with our broad noses and protruding foreheads and full lips are present together).
|Wakanda Ensemble: Forest Whittaker, Daniel Kaluuya, Michael B. Jordan, Lupita Nyong'o, Chadwick Boseman, Angela Bassett, Danai Gurira, and Letitia Wright.|
However, it is imperative to remember that one fictional superhero movie cannot hold everything, be everything to someone. It would be irresponsible to say the least.
Black Panther has granted us a black director (Ryan Coogler), black writers (Coogler with Joe Robert Cole), a black costume designer (Ruth Carter), a black jewelry designer (Douriean Flecther), a black production designer (Hannah Beachler), a black soundtrack director (Kendrick Lamar), and an almost all black cast from different pockets of the globe. And that stands for something undeniably profound.
|T'Challa (Chadwick Boseman) has reassurance from Nakia (Lupita Nyong'o) that he can and will thrive as king of Wakanda.|
Black Panther may not have televised the whole entire revolution, but this imperative comic book film drama passionately ignites conversations to take that leap.
Now go see and support the vision of black excellence. Wakanda forever.