By Bonnie DeShong
I have been sitting at my desk trying to figure out how to write this review. As a film critic I am supposed to be objective and somewhat aloof in writing a review. As a Black American female I am so emotionally wound up I can’t sit still.
Forget it, BAF wins out. The film BLACK PANTHER is more than good, more than great, it is FIERCE.
For those of you who aren’t into Marvel Comics, the Black Panther character first appeared in the comic book #52 Fantastic Four Silver Age of Comic Books in July of 1966, and was created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby.
I was introduced to the character in the film Captain America: Civil War. When he appeared on screen there was an excitement about him and anticipation on what he could and would do.
In a nut shell:
The Black Panther is really King T’Challa who rules over the African country of Wakanda. Wakanda is made up of 5 nations and is hidden away in plain site on the continent of Africa. It is far more technologically advanced than any country on earth. T’Challa is challenged for the kingdom of Wakanda and its resources and the story excels.
Hats off to Marvel Comics in choosing writer- director Ryan Coogler to bring Wakanda and the Black Panther to life and making it an unforgettable part of our lives.
The Black Panther is human. He has family, traditions, loyalty, feelings, emotions, and honor. Wakanda is a mixture of fast trains, flying ships, green meadows with sheep, markets with bright colors and modern clothing. Wakanda is life.
Chadwick Boseman as T’Challa and Black Panther is a no brainer. Not only does he look the part (oh yes he does) but he brings emotion and realness to the role. We clearly see his weakness and strengths when he is not Black Panther and we feel his humanity when he is.
Michael B. Jordan’s portrayal of Erik Killmonger, the man who wants to bring Wakanda to its knees by taking the throne from T’Challa, is a wonderful surprise. The layers and levels to his character is one you want to hate but admire at the same time.
Okoye (Danai Gurira) is the head of the Dora Milaje, the all-female Wakandan Special Forces. She is the best fighter in Wakanda second only to the Black Panther. She is fiercely loyal to the throne.
Nakia (Lupita Nyong’o) is a War Dog, a Wakandan spy who is often on assignment away for Wakanda and has seen so much suffering of people color in other countries that she feels it is time Wakanda helped. She and T’Challa have a past.
T’Challa’s little sister Shuri (Letitia Wright) is a joy to watch. She is full of energy and a genius when it comes to technology. She is head scientist and the innovator behind the Black Panther’s updated suits and technology.
T’Challa and Shuri’s mother Ramonda (Angela Bassett) is truly the queen and stable force to not only her son and daughter but Wakanda.
I could on and on about this film. It’s funny, educational, action packed, uplifting, and so much more.
Ruth Carter’s costumes are phenomenal and authentic. I was told that she went to Africa and asked for permission and advice on the correct way to use the cloth and the looks in the film. The costumes are bright and represent past, present and the future all at the same time.
The music and drums are all a part of the language of Wakanda. As the rhythm moves through your body you become apart of the story as you feel the heartbeats of the ancestors. (Now that was deep.)
Make sure you stay in your seats until the last of the credits have run!
SPEND THE MONEY to see BLACK PANTHER in the theaters. Do not buy the bootleg copy until you have paid to see it in the theaters.
Until next time keep your EYE to the sky!