Black Panther has been making headlines for a while now and anyone I know who has seen this film has said only good things about it. Although I am not an action movie fan, all the positive feedback nonetheless drove me to watch the film.
The worldwide applaud caused me to have great expectations from the film and great expectations almost always ends in disappointment. By the end of the movie I said to my friends, “it was nice, but not as extraordinary as a Nolan movie!”. After giving it a thought, I however realized that this is a different kind of extraordinary movie. And if I am not exaggerating, it one of the landmark movies of contemporary times.
The movie effectively breaks the stereotypes; to begin with, they showed a bunch of black people who were neither poor nor involved in something illegal. Moreover, the exemplary tribes in the movie are well rooted to their culture and portrayed as very wealthy as they actually are (or were before colonialism).
Secondly, ask yourself, how many times have you seen a lighter skin colour antagonist (as compared to the protagonist), except Will Smith or Denzel Washington movies? There general observation is that, even if it an all actor-of-colour movie, it is very rare to see a darker skin protagonist and a lighter skin antagonist. Strangely, lighter shades is more appealing to the public than darker skin and that is why many actors are even forced to undergo skin lightening treatment and casting directors seldom choose anything that doesn’t appeal to the public. But this is where Black Panther makes a difference. Not only is the protagonist of darker skin colour, but so is the lead actress. She made no effort to fit in the so called “beauty standards” and has a charming presence in the film without being unnecessarily sexual.
Thirdly, an effort has been made to present African culture in the most authentic way, instead of westernizing it. The background score, costumes, accents, and location gives it a very authentic feel. For instance, bald women were as graceful as they could get. They didn’t wear wigs or do fake hair extensions to appeal to the public. It was bold move indeed!
Fourthly and very importantly, women characters are neither portrayed as servile nor as disproportionately powerful. They were able to strike an equilibrium between male and female roles; similar to the synergy we are trying to achieve in real life.
In addition to that, the film was filled with plenty of witty jokes, portrayed exemplary moral standards, even the villain was not senselessly crazy. The movie certainly had a counter-colonial undercurrent. Although the movie is based on present day, I feel they have carefully attempted to juxtapose it with some of its historical issues which makes it even more interesting.
Correlation between Reel life and Real life
I recently attended a talk by Jonathan Zinck about how men can stop violence against women. During his talk, he also talked about why a lot of men end up abusing women and then he drew correlation between what we have been seeing in reel life and doing in real life. He and many others claim that our attitudes towards each other has been greatly influenced by what we read and what on screen. What was noteworthy in the storyline was that, there was a situation where a man takes a bullet to save a woman, but she did not automatically fall for his gallantry; which would have otherwise happened in movies a few years ago, which promoted “save the day and get the girl”. Similarly, this movie has subtly changed a lot of things.
In conclusion, whether it is watchworthy or not, that depends on you. But what I am sure about is this production has made a huge difference is what we are used to seeing on screen and my optimist self feels, this is just the beginning. Other movie will have follow the suit.
Tell me what you think about the movie in the comment section below. And don’t forget to share it with your friends.
À Bientôt! ❤