Recently, I read an article that stressed the importance of not only opening weekend numbers, but also second week’s numbers to determine how well a movie will perform in the long run. I have seen Black Panther three times now, and will probably see it two more times before I decide to stop and wait for the DVD, lol. That being said, the picture is amazing enough that all of us can stand to see it one more time this week, to sustain second-week numbers and affirm that it will perform amazingly, overall.
Someone said that I’ve seen it that many times for research, but those who know me best know I’ve seen it that many times because it fills me. Black Panther is more than just a movie, it is a testimony.
As a true stan of the comic book series, each run, Ta-Nehisi Coates’ most of all, I was quite worried about consistency when heading in to see the film. And though there were some differences, the film was definitely a mastery all its own.
Like most, I also agree that the entire team did an amazing job of not creating a villain in Killmonger. As a Black person, I deeply understood his anger and frustration. And though many people I discussed the film with were disappointed by the lack of belief and conviction in his closing line, for me it was one of the two standalone lines that shaped the entire film. I won’t tell you what that line is because you should go see the movie for yourself.
The second standalone line I will share because it took me hearing it three times before I finally grasped the weight and multiple layers of it. The scene occurs when Killmonger travels to the ancestral plane. During a discussion with his father his dad says, “they will say that you are lost.” To which Killmonger replies, “but I’m right here.” Have you ever heard something and it just stuck with you? That is what the exchange was for me. The first time it left me unsettled, the second time I knew that there was more than what I grasped, and the final time it shook me to my core.
There was so much to reflect on and love about the film. I thoroughly enjoyed Chadwick Boseman’s depiction of T’Challa and how he was able to capture his internal struggle between being a king and being a hero (more accurate would be scientist, but I’ll let the movie rock). I adored the Dora Milaje and especially Okoye. Side note, I got her on the Black Panther quiz.
Many have debated on which side to choose between the argument between Nakia and Okoye…I say whichever feels true to you and your moral compass. I’m more interested in the ongoing debate between T’Challa and Nakia and the choice of service vs romance. We don’t get to see exactly how it plays out, but I appreciate that the resolution appears to be a balancing of the two.
I can talk about this film all day, from the Black excellence, to the superb imagery, to the significance of the question WHO ARE YOU?, to the Warrior Falls now being on my list of places to visit, to the strength of the women, to the unexpected comedic relief, to the pan-Africanism, to the fact that a new greeting is in the culture, and so much more. However, I would prefer that you experience this magic for yourself. If you haven’t seen it, please get your life! If you have seen it, you understand why you need to see it again!
-Ms. Malcolm Hughes