You’ve heard it…it started with the collective gasp followed by shrieks of joy when mere images from the Marvel film Black Panther were released. It was instant jubilation from various groups around the world. For sure, for black people across the globe Marvel’s Black Panther is nothing short of a watershed moment. A fully black cast fronting a blockbuster super hero tale and directed by a black man that was going to be a bonafide smash. Yeah, just the thought still gets my hair standing up on my arms. It means that much. But this isn’t just a film for black people. It is a film for all people.
The idea that this story of a King endeavoring to be a good man is not something that resonated only with black people the box office proved that. Black Panther smashed advanced ticket sales and is on pace to outsell every other super hero film, ever! One of the film’s stars Lupita Nyong’o couldn’t even get a ticket for her own film!
As I have said, you have probably heard these things. You have probably also seen the hashtag #BlackPantherSoLit and #BlackPantherEvent everywhere. But with all of this hearing and seeing you probably want to know does it live up to the hype? And the simply answer is yes. The better answer is Hell Yes!
From the moment the film opens to literally the closing credits the film transports you into Wakanda. Spoiler alert: do not budge out of your seat until you see the last credit (you will thank me later). The film is masterfully told and juxtaposes centuries old beliefs, ideas and themes with modern day technology and modern day storytelling. The set design and cinematography will have you going on line to book a trip to Wakanda as it seems oh so real.
For some and by some I mean me; you will be buying repeat tickets just to see Chadwick Boseman who portrays King T’Challa and Michael B. Jordan the bad guy you will love to hate. But in truth, this is not a story that only has two strong characters. The supporting characters in the film is the secret sauce to the film. Each character is powerful and will have you wanting to know more about them. Especially the badass women of Wakanda!
The film for so many is about representation. Having a film that represents the true experience of people of color even if set against a fictional backdrop. The representation of all people including women in this film is inspiring. Right down to the Disney Princess. This may be a Marvel film but all Princess’ are measured against this benchmark. Princess Shuri is the kind of princess that you will want your daughter to aspire to be. And not just that, Letitia White literally steals every scene she is in playing the sister to King T’Challa. You will fall in love with her.
Nakia and Okoye are some of the strongest women I have every seen on film and their fight scenes are epic. Angela Bassett just fills up any screen she is on and her role in Black Panther is not different. She is queenly in every way.
The film is intricate yet simple. There are so many plot twists that keep you on the edge of your seat from beginning to end that I dare not say for fear letting a spoiler slip. I will guarantee that you will have to watch the movie at least 3 times to see some of the small cultural nods and nuances the film had. It is literally astounding.
All of this being said, the number one reason to go see this movie in theaters on February 16th? The experience. This movie is an experience a cinematic masterpiece that is meant to be enjoyed with others. You will remember where you where when you saw this film and how it made you feel when you walked. Out. It is that good and it is that meaningful.
Black Panther follows T’Challa who, after the death of his father, the King of Wakanda, returns home to the isolated, technologically advanced African nation to succeed to the throne and take his rightful place as king. When a powerful old enemy reappears, T’Challa’s mettle as king—and Black Panther—is tested when he is drawn into a formidable conflict that puts the fate of Wakanda and the entire world at risk.
Faced with treachery and danger, the young king must rally his allies and release the full power of Black Panther to defeat his foes and secure the safety of his people and their way of life.
I’ll see you at the movies on February 16th!
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BLACK PANTHER arrives in theatres everyone on February 16, 2018!
Photography credit: Marvel
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