#CeceShares #Critique #BlackPanther
Quote that matters:
“Just because something works doesn’t mean it can’t be improved.”
“They knew death was better than bondage.”
“I would make a great queen because I am stubborn — if that’s what I wanted.”
“In times of crisis, the wise build bridges, while the foolish build barriers. We must find a way to look after one another as if we were one single tribe.”
The 18th movie in the Marvel Cinematic Universe line, Black Panther is a relatively new character. His first appearance in this universe occurs during the film Avengers: Civil War. We meet T’Challa as a young prince, but when his father dies during a U.N. meeting we discover his father — and now his — alternate identity: Black Panther.
Black Panther the movie begins shortly after the falling out of Civil War (and the death of T’Challa’s father). The sovereign nation of Wakanda, T’Challa’s home, is a land unlike we’ve seen before. It is a beautiful combining of technology, future, and tradition. This theme stretches throughout the movie to wardrobe, music, and many other aspects of Wakandan culture. To the rest of the world, Wakanda appears a very small third world country. They know they import no goods, and export no goods, and the world seems content to know little else about the place for we are given few other details from an outsider’s perception.
As the audience is brought into Wakanda though, we learn the world has assumed incorrectly. Wakandans possess a unique resource: vibranium. Vibranium was brought to earth by meteorite. Wakandans have used this metal to advance technology far beyond the rest of societies capabilities. They even have a dome-type camoflauge covering their society from the view of others. They’ve woven the metal into fabrics, used it to promote healing, and so much more.
The movie begins with the indroduction of out hero’s catalyst: an arms deal and a murder taking place decades ago. This incident, seemingly long forgotten, brings trouble to Wakanda’s doorstep and precisely the wrong time: during a regime change and the passing of a great king.
Why I watched in theaters:
Um… it’s a marvel movie. The Marvel Cinematic Universe rarely dissappoints.
Why I’ll watch it again:
And again, and again and again…
First but not foremost: I will watch this movie over and over again because it is an entertaining, witty, well-written, action-packed movie that I thoroughly enjoyed.
Now the reason that really matters to me:
I recall the feeling of watching Amazonian women rush into battle in the beginning of the new Wonder Woman movie with Gal Gadot. It might be ridiculous but I became weepy watching that scene. Those women were badass, and unashamedly so. There were no cheep shots of boobs or butts. It was awe-inspiring to watch women, women I could identify with, be viewed through the lens of warrior without the scope of beauty, sex appeal, or traditional female archetypes covering up all that badassery.
I cannot speak on behalf of people of color, but I can imagine this may have felt similar for them. Finally to see someone on the screen who looks like you.
Also, all the well-rounded, non-stereotyped, witty characters. None — i repeat NONE — of the characters were stereotyped. T’Challa was a good king, but indecisive. His sister, Shuri, never behaved like a princess — she was an inventor and scientist… and a damned good one. His ex, Nakia, turned him down because she had a calling that she couldn’t ignore. He didn’t argue. The majoritiy of the warrirors were women. They didn’t shy away from their job for love, and they didn’t shy away from love for their job… but they did prioritize and without spoiling it i’ll just say I was mighty impressed. The two white characters in the movie would have been easy to villify, in my opinion, but they didn’t stereotype them either.
Finally, the anti-hero. It’s hard not to be on his side, even while you are rooting for “the good guys”, because he isn’t wrong. Hard as I tried I couldn’t dislike him. Pity him maybe, but not dislike.