I left the theater yesterday afternoon reeling in the cinematic genius that is Black Panther. And I'm sure you're wondering by the title of this post why I even went to see a comic book superhero movie in the first place.
You're right-- I haven't seen Captain America Civil War (or even the Captain America before that). I have only seen bits and pieces of the other Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) movies, either on TV or in the cardio theater of my gym. And I definitely haven't read any of the original comics. I am more of a Harry Potter/Hunger Games/A Wrinkle in Time kinda girl.
So, what brought me to the theater for this one? (Other than an excuse to finally wear this skirt...)
I can't lie-- I'm rooting for everybody black.
Of course that's a bit of a simplistic answer. The truth is I wanted to see this movie do well in the box office. I was stunned and thrilled to see this amazing cast list-- bringing seasoned vets like Angela Bassett (Queen Ramonda) and Forest Whitaker (Zuri) together with the amazing young talent of Chadwick Boseman (T’Challa), Michael B. Jordan (Eric Killmonger), Daniel Kaluuya (W’Kabi), Lupita Nyong’o (Nakia), Winston Duke (M’Baka), Danai Gurira (Okoye), and Letitia Wright (Shuri).
And I had no idea how empowered I would feel to see such strong women take on the roles of fierce warriors, badass spies, and technological geniuses! The honor and respect for women in Wakanda is definitely a lesson many people need to take from this film.
I knew that if there is any chance of seeing more movies with this many powerful women and people of color cast in them, Black Panther would have to do well in ticket sales.
Since I paid my hard-earned money to see Peter Rabbit and Fifty Shades Freed, I sure as heck was going to show the box office gods that I want to see more black people as kings, queens, princesses, warriors, protectors, and superheroes. I hope the success of this movie paves a way for more films and TV shows to cast people of color as main characters. Plus, this gives my son (and myself) more options for Halloween costumes, right?
So what did I think of the movie?
This movie was EPIC! The cinematography was brilliant, the music was DOPE, and the acting was so believable. And I didn’t have any problems keeping up with the plot, despite having not seen any of the other MCU movies in full.
I definitely need another viewing of it to catch some of the deep themes I may have missed in this first showing. But what I know is that this movie did a great job of keeping true to the action and fantasy we would expect from a superhero movie, while also subtlety throwing in some commentary of gender and race relations felt in the United States and around the world.
I was proud to stand in line at the theater this weekend among other happy and excited movie-goers as we struck up conversations about the reasons we were there to see Black Panther. And I got a quick and dirty MCU lesson to give me some context of these characters with the rest of the Marvel universe. Thank you, kind comic book junkie in front of me!
In a few weeks, after most people who are interested in the movie have a chance to see it, I plan to go live on FB to talk about all the details and spoilers. I don't want to ruin it for you right now-- you need to see it for yourself! I will let you know when that's happening, and I hope you join me in the conversation.
Until then, #WakandaForever!