Black Panther: A Cynic Goes To The Movies.

For the longest time, i was divided about Black Panther and hence this outdated post.In this age where we desperately seek political correctness in every gesture of ours in the public sphere, more out of a need to avoid scrutiny and instant blacklash-thanks to the keypad-happy social media hawks- rather than out of actual commitment to a cause, the cynic in me of course sat up with cocked ears when the cash registers at Marvel started to ring again thanks to T’Challa and his solo outing.DC did cash in on feminism to save their sinking ship a while back.Now, its unfair to compare Marvel’s dream run with DC’s sputtering starts and stops but just dont tell me that the executives at Marvel never considered the moolah a movie like Black Panther could rake in, for obvious reasons.Yeah it’s true that  Black Panther’s been around for a while and cinematically as well as  socially this is the best of times for Panther to hit the screens, too.In the same breath, when a movie like Detroit sinks without trace and when Get Out wins best screenplay at the Oscars over Three Billboards at Ebbing, Missouri, to me at least it’s a bit like Trump restoring American economy by asking Apple to shut its plants in China.Enough with allegories and bushes to beat around,let’s get down to brass tacks.

Black Panther has it’s moments but to me personally, as a superhero movie, more specifically an MCU movie it ranks behind many other movies that came before it in terms of sheer entertainment value.You can’t deny the fact that it is the most talked about Marvel movie ever because of the theme and the politics it brings to the screen and ultimately to the minds and hearts of the audience.It showcases African culture with an elegance and a level of sophistication never seen before in Hollywood.Wakanda, the hidden kingdom is the African Utopia and analogy to what Africa could have been if not for the Scramble for Africa by the colonial powers.One would be tempted to call it an exaggeration but might want to reconsider given the fact Birr, the currency of Ethiopia ,an African country that was never colonised by the imperial powers trades  at 27 odd US Dollars in forex.Black Panther by design was destined for box office success as a Marvel movie with its predominantly black cast and an African American director and if i may, the targeted audience.Tell me that never came up in a boardroom discussion.That’s again the cynic in me i guess and my intention is not to undermine the efforts  the writers and the director here.The only other movie that comes to my mind  where I had a hard time choosing whom to root for between the hero and villain was Infernal Affairs which was later remade into The Departed.Michael B.Jordan elevates his character to immortality when he chooses death over bondage like his ancestors and Chadwick Boseman can only look on, literally.

What worked for me more than what i saw on the screen is what i heard,Kendrick’ Lamar’s All The Stars with SZA to be specific.The song has a video that’s as much a visual treat as the movie.The soundtrack of the film is outstanding and has an all star lineup, pun unintended.I wouldntve written what i did if it wasn’t for the music.No Marvel movie experience is fulfilling unless you sit throuh the end titles patiently for the post credits scene.Here you are in for a suprise of sorts when you see Bucky Barnes walking out of a Wakandan huts amidst calls of White Wolf by a bunch of Wakandan Kids.Honestly i dont expect Marvel to come up with another Black Panther solo film for many reasons and if it does happen and generates the kind of rave this one does, I just might admit that the world has changed for good.

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