I saw Black Panther last night and I was caught like an antelope in headlights. The movie itself is a gorgeous representation of African folklore, culture and the people of Africa. From the music to the costumes and the details on set, Black Panther offers an amazing look at the lives of warriors, princesses and of course a good king.
The characters are memorable and well dimensioned. Even the villain of this story is not what he seems to be. Of course the special effects are great, the plot is well crafted and the women are represented as strong and resourceful characters.
What I loved most about the film though were the mythical elements interwoven in the story that tie to African fairytales and mythology.
The goddess Bast is mentioned, but the journey T’challa makes throughout the film echoes the spiritual path of great warrior tales in legends.
The focus on the importance of ancestors and carrying the role of those who came before is an important plot point and it is one of my favorite scenes in the film.
The country of Wakanda carries traditional customs and characteristics of historic African tribes. The introduction to African shamanism plays a role in the film that follows T’challa’s character growth and ties tradition to modern day culture.
I don't want to spoil the film, and I want to make sure that I discuss this film with the respect it deserves. But I will say this:
The film deserves all the recognition it has and more, and the representation of an entire culture is a story worth telling.
Five out of five claws.
Before I wrote this review, I watched this video to better understand the customs and traditions represented in the film: