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Black Panther - Movie Review

By Haya Hazem
Black Panther breaks new ground in the movie industry as the first unapologetically, politically African movie in the superhero blockbuster genre. The characters' motives showcase a level of realism & depth rare to encounter in similar movies, dealing explicitly with issues relevant to the current political climate, like racial oppression, colonialism, & the moral responsibility affluent nations hold towards refugees. In contrast to his previous appearance in Captain America: Civil War, we see another side of Prince T'Challa, now King of the hidden nation of Wakanda, the most technologically advanced country in the world. He is no longer impulsive and arrogant but rather wiser, calmer & more considerate of the realities & the people around him. This unsure version of T'Challa, a man who just wants to do the right thing, battles his guilt & the doubts he has about his father's decisions, banters with his little sister, seeks his mother's guidance, and panics in front of the woman he loves which make him much more humanized and relatable. The female characters in particular stood-out, as the movie delivers some of the most capable, intelligent, independent, and beautiful women with much complexities to explore. With the extremely talented Danai Gurira as Okoye; the strongest warrior of her nation who has to choose between her job as the leader of the royal guard, and her sense of right from wrong. Danai is joined by Academy Award winner Lupita Nyong'o as Nakia; a spy, agent, and fighter who has convictions and a sense of duty so strong she's willing to give up on love to fulfill them. Lastly the breakout star of the movie, 16 year-old Princess Shuri; a quick-witted genius visionary, at the helm of Wakanda's scientific advancement. This movie also remedies a weakness in previous Marvel productions, which is how poorly written & unmemorable most of their villains are by presenting the multidimensional, layered Killmonger; a man with an unshakable ideology, and the charisma to back it up. Killmonger's tragic backstory also makes it easy to sympathize with him and offers a true dilemma beyond caricatures of "Good" and "Evil". Visually the movie is gorgeous and rich in colours, costumes, and tunes that are rooted in different cultures across Africa. Action sequences were masterfully done, with breathtaking choreography and music written by the acclaimed rapper Kendrick Lamar. Overall it's one of the best movies Marvel studios ever made. Hopefully a sequel will be soon to follow!

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