Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), in the true sense, is putting weight behind its female characters. The old stereotypical way of using women as a prop is changing. Black Panther- Wakanda Forever, directed by Ryan Coogler is an example. All women characters in the film are portrayed as leaders in their own right the don't need knights in shining armour.
Queen herself raises the weapon to save her empire and the surface world. Shuri (Letitia Wright), a protagonist in the film to Riri Williams (Dominique Thorne), a scientist, has a remarkable role. There is no damsel in distress. Although, from a broad perspective, they fill in the shoes of T'Challa (Chadwick Boseman), heir to the hidden but advanced kingdom of Wakanda. But women characters get enough screen time to show their valor, courage, fear, vengeance, and other emotions.
Black Panther Wakanda Forever Review
Black Panther- Wakanda Forever is a tribute to Chadwick Boseman, who died of colon cancer in 2020. So, the first half is pretty much mourning, and the frame of Boseman does give chills for a few seconds. Some dialogues of Shuri do draw parallels from real life, like- ‘brother suffered in silence. As the film builds up, it comes out of Boseman's shadow. It revolves around Shuri and her becoming a Black Panther and at the same time seeking revenge from Numor (Tenoch Huerta), a god-king of the Talcona Empire, who wages war on the surface world, starting from Wakanda.
MCU with its latest releases, has been more inclusive and setting a narrative that scraps the white chisel body man coming to the rescue. Huerta, a Mexican actor, plays this time, the anti-hero, Numor. His character brings a story that makes you fall in love with him and feel his vulnerability. The film has added more depth to the storyline on the backdrop of historical events, civilizations, and real-life conflicts. In the film, they took inspiration from a combination of Aztec and Maya civilizations in Mexico and connected one of the backstories with the Spanish smallpox epidemic in Mexico.
With mythological and historical references, writers try to make it authentic and develop effective story-telling. They do the same with She-Hulk and Ms. Marvel. Here in the film too Shuri does marvels, with her intelligence and smartness attempts to take the god-king down, with her woman soldiers. One of the impressive characters is Okoye played by Danai Gurira. Okoye is a brave warrior and an equally humorous character. The all-women warrior group also has a Lesbian couple. Though screen time is limited, it is nice to know. One of the best moments is when Riri becomes Iron Hearts (Dominique Thorne), also a new superhero edition to MCU. Lupita Nyong'o as Nakia and Angela Bassett as Ramonda have justified their roles. Their roles have the power to decide in the film, and addressing more would be a spoiler.
Cinematography and animation are as usual, at their best. Shuri’s turning into Black Panther is fascinating. Although, a few action sequence keeps you wondering who is fighting who. The Background score sync’s well with the film- Rihanna’s Lift Me Up hits hard. Only due to the long stretch of the film it somewhere falls weak and slow. The film explores many emotions and at the same time battle with a political crisis. Tiring to balance it out together and leave some ends loose. But the story works well despite the biggest loss the film has to bear. Shuri taking the throne does make it better. A film has a post-credit that sounds a little cringe.
The views expressed are the author's own.
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