Black Panther used to be Marvel’s least appealing comic character to the masses long before the Avengers and Iron Man trilogy were made into feature films.So much so that a Wesley Snipes motion picture of the same was perceived way back in 1992 but languished in development hell and never saw the day of light. Finally when MCU was building up its universe of characters came Black Panther in a well defined ‘way beyond cameo length’ appearance in the Civil War which was surprisingly well received by the audience and as expected,the folks at Marvel greenlit a motion picture and here we are with the review of the same!
READ ALSO – Wonder Woman Movie Review by Himanshu Bisht
Black Panther narrates the conflicts in the life of T’Challa, the ruler of an utopian kingdom named Wakanda who has to live up to his father’s legacy and think beyond the borders of well hidden country from the outside world who look upto Wakanda as “a land of the farmers”! When T’Challa faces a situation where not only his throne but his life, his family is at stake, how would the odds pan out against him? This pretty much explains the gist of the film.
I have never been approving of Marvel’s goofy campy tone which has made a laughing stock of many of Marvel’s villains and even the superheros who seem more interested in the banters and taking mutual digs. But Black Panther is a refreshing origin story that sticks to a more serious tone throughout and this works in it’s favour. An almost ensemble cast of black actors guided by an equally riveting black director makes this Afrocentric movie come to life in all it’s elan.
The movie begins with two events – A decision taken by T’Chaka in the past and how it influences his son’s future post his crowning as a King. The movie boasts of two fine actors to handle the villainous streak and both of them, viz. Andy Serkis as Ulysses Klaw and Michael Jordan as Killmonger fire on all cylinders, specially the beefy Jordan who tugs at your heart with his past and makes you realise he wasn’t bad all the time. The supporting cast comprise of Academy Award winning Lupita Nyong’o as T’Challa’s ambitious ex girlfriend, Letitia Wright as the boisterous Shuri, his sister and also Martin Freeman as the charming Everett Ross.
The visual effects are opulent except for the sloppy CGI in the third act. Speaking if the lead actor, Chadwick Boseman is in fine form as the protagonist but he does overdo the brooding serious tone at times. The background music, a mix of metal and African tribal music is enamouring and elevates the action sequences which are few in number and not as grand as the other action set sequences in the other Marvel movies. Yet, this origin story works on multiple levels. The snide remarks to the whites who are referred to as ‘colonizers’ in the movie, a perception that all African countries are poor and that they could have been a real Wakanda had the ‘colonizers’ stayed away from the them. And Ryan Coogler handles this visionary project deftly and despite the slow pace, there isn’t a prevailing sense of boredom anywhere, making the Black Panther different from the one-off Marvel movies giving it a purpose of it’s own and pacing way further to the Infinity Wars hitting theatres in May.
P.S. Don’t miss the second end credit cos “Winter” is coming (back)!