Like every other DC and Marvel Fanboy, I was excited to see the movie “Black Panther” after a long wait. For this kind of movies, I prefer to have the best cinema experience, and so I decided to see the movie in my favorite place; the Cineplex Queensway VIP cinema.
Furthermore, It has become a ritual for me to wear “the movie theme t-shirt” of superhero movies while seeing the movie. On a side note, the Black Panther is a movie to see three times (for the culture), so Yeah! I can’t afford to walk into the cinema to see a movie like Black Panther without having a Black Panther t-shirt on.
Those who have gotten used to the tried and true Marvel formula will definitely find a new wave of excitement and freshness in what Black Panther has to offer. Yes
, it’s an action fest. Yes, it’s full of superpowers and fancy suits. Yes, it may even feel far-fetched at times. But underneath the outer layer, there’s a rich world of complex philosophical and ideological issues that are worth exploring, and watching it all unravel will surely make you wonder about the world and its unexplored possibilities.
Ryan Coogler, the man I tip to win the award for the Best Director of the year, did a thorough job in ensuring a strict adherence to professionalism. Both the director and co-writer have done an amazing job at stitching together the elements of comedy, action, and mystery. The movie is not afraid to show its high-end production values, but it’s not about that at all. The reason why Black Panther was so successful lies in how the storyline was presented: as something compelling, presentable, and in touch with what is buried deep within our hidden thoughts. Simply put, it resonates with our emotions, and this is what makes it stand out.
What really makes the Black Panther awesome?
The Cast and Plot
Black Panther, in a way, caused a paradigm shift in the movie industry. A research showed that of the 30,000 characters in the top-700 grossing list, about 75% were white. So, you understand the trouble when an all-black cast outperforms the legendary Harry Potter in box office success.
“Why?” you may ask. For one, the plot goes against the conventional black movie we know where blacks are portrayed as servants, cheap, or weak. The movie does not depend on a renowned name to pull the crowd, neither can the character be played by a white actor.
The main character is played by Chadwick Boseman, and he managed to portray something that is rather unusual in a typical superhero genre – instead of prevailing in the fight against his enemies, it’s almost as if his main objective was to learn a fundamental truth about himself, the world around him, and life in general.
The kingdom of Wakanda
Black Panther is as African as Africa can be. The kingdom of Wakanda was shown to be a place of immense technological power as a result of large deposits of useful precious metal. Even though the movie comments strongly on civil rights, slavery, and colonialism, these features do not define the movie. Also, the homeland of our beloved T’Challa is not one ridden with crime or modern-day black problems.
It shows the dedication put into creating the right impression of blacks and Africa in general. Chadwick was quoted saying “This is fantasy and it is expedient we carve out a culture not necessarily because it’s a pioneer black superhero, just to have a definitive structure for Wakanda.” You will notice that Wakanda wasn’t some general version of any particular country or tribe or accent.
If I might add, Michael B Jordan and Chadwick Boseman perfectly embodied the role of Erik Killmonger and the Black Panther. Honestly, I had to keep telling myself it was just a movie. And award-winning Lupita? I feel like running back to the cinema!
If you’re a Marvel fan, you’ve more than probably heard of the saying that with great power comes great responsibility. Black Panther doesn’t try to recycle this view; instead, it sheds a completely new light on it, revealing that the entity that’s wielding the said power doesn’t necessarily have to be an individual, it could also be an entire nation. The question of morality immediately begs for an answer and kickstarts a philosophical debate: if you have the means of protecting something or someone, do you also have the moral responsibility to do so?
Ironically, Killmonger, the main antagonist of the movie, closely resembles the protagonist but acts as a much more violent and extreme version of him. The funny part is that his primary motives almost resemble those of a stereotypical hero, which pertains to his apparent drive to chase away injustice and right the wrongdoings of others. When all is said and done, this is exactly what makes the character so unique and refreshing to see, because it separates him from the norm of what we’re so used to seeing all the time. His characteristics almost make you sympathize with him.
As great as the overall movie turned out to be, some would argue the story doesn’t develop as fluently as it should, and this is spot-on. Everything starts much too slowly, and even when things start to get interesting, certain sections unravel much too slowly to keep the momentum going.
Most of the soundtracks of the Black Panther were courtesy of Top Dawg Entertainment’s Kendrick Lamar, SZA, Schoolboy Q and others. These soundtracks gave viewers that euphoric feeling. The timing, tempo, and aura were just perfect!
So what’s the final verdict? Without a shred of doubt, Black Panther is a movie that not only pleases the audience but also makes a statement. After watching the whole thing, the big picture will click together, and the slow start will be forgotten, right along with everything else that could have been done better, so make sure to stick with it until the end.
To cram it all in one sentence, it’s the talented cast, the high-end production values, and the thought processes it sparkles within you. Despite its shortcomings, this movie definitely earns its rightful place on your to-watch list.