Frankly Speaking, The Female Characters In Black Panther Were WAY Better Than The Main Lead
Let’s be honest. Superhero movies so far have been super white.
So when Black Panther released, with all the talks about it being the first superhero film with a non-white hero, my curiosity was piqued.
I watched the movie purely as a stand-alone film. It was okay.
Director Ryan Coogler did a great job of bringing together a cast of stalwarts. It was definitely a celebration of diversity.
The pace of the film, however, was a serious issue. It was half an hour too long and could have done with some serious editing.
I remember sitting in a dark room in the plushiest seats and yet restless to leave because King T’challa could barely hold my attention.
For all his powers and vibranium suit, I found his character the least interesting. There was an overdose of vibranium.
A superhero film can only succeed as a great screenplay if the character is dynamic. Sadly, the role of Black Panther was not well written. Given that the movie is about king T’Challa (Chadwick Boseman) waiting to find his calling and be the king that Wakanda deserves, his character is surprisingly bland.
Without any gender bias or hangups, I would have preferred the movie had more screen time for Okoye ( head of the Dora Milaje), Shuri (Princess of Wakanda) or even Michael B. Jordan ( N’Jadaka / Erik “Killmonger” Stevens).
Jordan, despite being an anti-hero, still commanded empathy – the power of good acting.
But let’s take a look at the characters who really made the film, better than it was. Let’s talk about the film’s two bad ass female characters. Okoye, the head of all-female special forces of Wakanda who knew how to kick ass and has guts of steel. She hates wigs but she hates missing her targets more.
Or the resident tech genius who is only 16-years old and much beyond her age. Her ingenuity and innovative nature gave Wakanda a technological edge over all the other countries. She is a role model that young girls can hope to emulate.
These supporting characters gave the film the strength it needed and also some of the sassiest dialogues. As soon as these ladies were in the scene, the dynamics changed. They lit up the screen and made it more entertaining.
After Wonder Woman, this is the next movie to have captured the essence of strong female role models. These women knew their duties and fulfilled it to perfection while providing some of the greatest screen moments.
In comparison, T’Challa failed to capture the audience.
In short, I would have wanted some more scenes written for these characters than see one more act of Black Panther.
However, even with all its flaws (watching it requires a bit of patience), the movie is a good watch. It looks beautiful. The visual design manages to depict the African culture in all its might. And yes, this movie does end up looking different to all the other Marvel movies. It has its own unique visual identity.
This necessary addition to the Marvel Universe does deserve a watch if only to admire a bunch of great supporting characters.
And hey, even if the movie isn’t your thing, you would leave the cinema with fresh motivation to hit the gym. Every freaking person in this film is ripped!
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