YAAAAAAS! YAAAAS! YAAS!
Where do I even begin? There’s so much.
I’ve watched this film twice and each timeI was filled with such pride to be a Black, British, African women. If films like this had been coming out during my childhood I think I would have proudly embraced my blackness a lot quicker, and so I strongly suggest that anyone with young children and/or teenagers takes them to see this film. I also hope with all the positivity that has surrounded Black Panther (2018) the film, television and fashion industries (as well as all the other creative industries) start including more people of colour in their work and workforce, having people of colour on your employment roll as cleaners isn’t going to cut it anymore.
Although Wakanda is a fictional country, it is firmly grounded in the real world with it’s beautiful display of traditional African culture and attire from the entire continent. The costuming in this film is phenomenal and so broad; the four corners of Africa are well presented very well. Black Panther celebrates the rich culture and traditions of the continent while boldly highlighting the capabilities of Africa. Although there is no denying that as a whole Africa is a “third world nation” Black Panther uses afrofuturism perfectly to present an ideal future of prosperity and positivity.
2017 was mostly definitely the year of the woman with Wonder Woman (2017) being such a hit and the announcement of the first female Doctor, Black Panther has most definitely kept that movement alive and kicking.
It may be a man’s world according to James Brown, but it really is nothing without a woman or a girl. Black Panther works so hard to dispel the stereotypical image of the angry black woman which we are so used to seeing on in film and TV, and instead puts women in positions of power and respect. The first women characters we encounter are the Dora Milage, and it is clear that they were highly respected and not to be messed with. The very fact that the national security and King’s safety is upheld and entrusted to women should not go unnoticed. T’Challa may be King but the pillars of his country are most definitely upheld by women.
Shuri is a beautiful representation of Black Excellence, she is young, beautiful, fashionable, smart, funny and so much more. She is the young, modern, black woman and a character that so many young black girls and even boys can and should look up to. Letitia Wright has come along way from her early days in Top Boy and Banana and she will only go on to do bigger and better things no doubt about it.
Can we also just take a moment to applaud and appreciate Okoye please, not only does she represent beauty, strength and power; she also beautifully demonstrated the power of pussy. Sorry Mister Brown but Beyonce really was right when she said girls run the world.
I swear they need to make a whole new category for the Oscars to praise the casting team because all I can say is PERFECTION. There will never be a cast this perfect, ever. The chemistry between each and every cast member, whether their characters were enemies or allies, was an electric it gave me goosebumps. My favourite relationship was between Shuri and T’Challa, the undeniable love, trust and respect they have for one another was magical. The brother-sisterly mocking was humorous and so natural to watch it was beautiful to see black family love on screen.
Now I know this may seem like a pretty bias review though I do have a few minor criticism.
Firstly, and this is no disrespect to Martin Freeman in any way, shape or form, but I really failed to see what the point of his character was, other than he had been in Captain American: Civil War (2016). I feel like he really was just there to add something that really wasn’t needed amongst the main cast: a white face. At least Andy Serkis’ character was of significant relevance, I didn’t find myself questioning his screen time and his necessity to the plot; though the character did provide some comical moments, so every cloud.
Secondly I felt like Killmonger was lacking a pinch more humanity and this lack go humanity meant I didn’t really feel any sympathy for him at all. His lack of any type of respect for tradition and the beauty of Wakanda annoyed me deeply. Unlike many Marvel villains (and villains in general) Killmonger did have a depth to him, and his motivations were somewhat plausible and justifiable to a certain extent. However he was so cold and lacking in any soft emotions that his pain and anger wasn’t as relatable as it could have been which was a shame because he really was a different type of villain. I wouldn’t actually be made if we had a Killmonger film depicting his time in America, because there really is so much to explore about his character and his life.
Overall I enjoyed Black Panther so, so much and recommend that everyone watches it at least once while it’s in the cinema, it’s funny, insightful and educational. It really is what black brilliance is all about, and hopefully this causes a domino effect and we see more black films and characters emerging in Hollywood and the creative industry. I’m waiting patiently, but not really, for the sequel. I’ll make do with seeing T’Challa and Shuri in The Avengers: Infinity War (2018).