The latest installment of the Marvel franchise centers on the hidden African nation of Wakanda and the struggle for its throne between two very different ideals.
Chadwick Boseman brings a quiet dignity and power to the title character (also called T’Challa), recently crowned after the death of his father. T’Challa struggles to balance aiding the world with Wakanda’s vast resources without losing their way of life. Michael B. Jordan plays Killmonger, the king’s bitter cousin who aims to aid the world by freeing oppressed people using violence. Jordan helps create a character shaped by unimaginable trauma that audiences can strongly empathize with. The strong contrast and tension between the two adds depth and texture to what could be a boring action flick.
The other unique feature of Black Panther is its depiction of strong and complex women in leadership. The elite bodyguard of the king is comprised entirely of women, and the general of this bodyguard gets a unique tension between loyalty to the overall throne or to any particular king. In addition to this character, we see T’challa’s sister Shuri as the prominent technology designer and an important aid in battles. (She also has plenty of sass and wit) We also see his ex Nakia (played by the stunning Lupita N’Yongo) aiming to heal the world by being a spy and showing T’Challa other perspectives and possibilities on this issue.
Overall it’s a stunning film with strong representation, character depth and female gaze. 10/10, I’ve already seen it twice and I’m raring to go back. In conclusion, WAKANDA FOREVER!!!