Movie: Black Panther
Cast: Chadwick Boseman, Lupita Nyong’o, Michael B Jordan, Martin Freeman, Danai Gurira, Angela Bassett, Forest Whitaker, Daniel Kaluuya, Sterling K Brown, Andy Serkis
Director: Ryan Coogler
Genre: Action adventure
Duration: 2 hrs 14 min
Critic’s Ratings: ****1/2
T’Challa (Chadwick Boseman) is the king who cannot decide what is the best way forward for his kingdom of Wakanda. Wakanda is a country that has flourished because of the Vibranium mines they have. But this progress has been in seclusion while the rest of the world has been burning to find peace. This new kind now must decide if he wants to follow the footsteps of his ancestors or be the first-ever trailblazer to open two-way communication with the world. In this journey of self-discovery, as has been the norm of most of the Marvel superhero movies, T’Challa learns to respect what being a Black Panther means, what is the significance of doing the right thing.
Director Ryan Coogler has brought a beautifully simplified lesson about the things plaguing the planet right now. It’s wrapped in a spectacularly executed fantasy world so that it will be easy to digest even for those who are least interested.
The world of Wakanda is nothing like what you have seen ever before. It is the version of Africa if it was never colonised. Ryan Coogler, in collaboration with Joe Robert Cole, flips the world and present you an intriguing story of the human condition that covers power tussle, espionage, high-octane chase, mysterious herbs, and all things Marvel. This is a Marvel superhero movie more humanised than Tony Stark’s altruistic realisation of achieving world peace in Iron Man 3. The masterful use of Barack Obama’s speech at Tucson memorial in 2011 is one stroke of genius (the forces that divide us are not as strong as those that unite us).
Another striking thing about Black Panther is how they treat their female leads. Something everyone wants to see in the wake of #MeToo movement.
It’s not all philosophy rubbed in your face. Some of the tension breakers and one line zingers are 10/10!
Look wise, Black Panther couldn’t get better than this. The sets, the costumes, the props are a perfect blend of African symbols, traditions, and the high-tech shenanigans you would see in a James Bond or Avengers movie. Designer Ruth E Carter deserves a standing ovation for using the vast platform created by Marvel to bring forth the gems of African culture for mass consumption. Kendrick Lamar’s soundtrack balances the gentle side of lighter moments and fast-paced action sequences asking for adrenaline.
Michael B Jordan as the villain Erik Killmonger stands tall in every single scene he is part of. Even when he is being beaten up by Black Panther. His deathly stare is just as imposing as his chiselled body and the power he has to hold the room. Lupita Nyong’o as Nakia competes with a chameleon as she shuffles the duties of being of service to her country, to her king, being a lover, being a person who wants to do good for the world with the help of Wakanda support.
Danai Gurira as Okoye – the general of king’s bodyguard Dora Milaje – takes her action scenes notches above of what we have seen her do in The Walking Dead. Do not let it go to waste Hollywood, this is your new action star.
We have seen Chadwick Boseman be an angry young man in Captain America: Civil War. But Black Panther is the movie where we see him flourish. He assumes the responsibility of a king. That brings him an opportunity to play a range of emotions and Boseman handles the job like a pro.
Martin Freeman, Andy Serkis, Letitia Wright are the scene stealers in Black Panther.
Black Panther is the superhero movie you’ve been waiting for.
Marvel fans, the mid-credit and post-credit scenes. You will need those for Avengers: Infinity War.