Whenever I tell people I am a huge movie fan, I don’t think most understand just how much or how deep my love for the cinematic world goes. Though there are many reasons I love to spend two hours wedged in front of a screen, the chief reason is movies have the ability to teleport you from the mundane and uneventful everyday life to an imaginative realm that you could only fancy. Books have a similar or stronger effect, which explains my love affair with books.
I have a pretty diverse taste in movies, mainly because I’ll watch anything with a great storyline infused with skilled directing. One genre, however, stands out, and that’s science fiction. The genre resonates well with me as I like to live in the future, in the impossible dream and the fact that sci-fi has that temporal effect that makes them super interesting.
One common theme that you will notice in most big cinematic films is the whitewashing of characters. Almost every huge Hollywood movie is mostly dominated by white characters. It’s enough when White (Mostly American) movies are dominated by white actors, but when the bridge crosses to movies of other regions being dominated by the same white actors, a line is crossed. Movies such as God of Egypt, Argo, Prince of Persia, The Lone Ranger, Batman Begins, The Last Airbender, Doctor Strange, and Pan are some of the movies that showcase whitewashing at its best, and that doesn’t even scratch the surface.
Most movies have included African-American actors, but only as secondary characters, Spiderman Homecoming and Iron Man come to mind. And when the movie is lucky enough to have a black actor headlining, it’s either about thugs who’ll break the law for a thrill –Taken (2011), or a slavery-spun story –12 Years a Slave (2013), Django Unchained (2012).
The impact such movies have on the upcoming and impressionable generation is the best of everything belongs to the whites and everyone else has to share in the remnants. As effective as the movies are in laying said impression, they either deter the young ones into a life of crime and reckless living or into second-tier citizens who feel like they don’t matter.
Now that I am done venting, let me also say there is hope for the black actor in Hollywood. And it doesn’t end with Lupita Nyong’o winning an Oscar Award for Best Supporting Actress.
Marvel has changed the script of their latest two movies, Thor Ragnarok saw a realistic view of the world, even from a superhero’s viewpoint, and Black Panther will see a prevalence of black actors, from top to bottom. Black Panther is on record to be one of the greatest movies of 2018. The premiere was held in late January, and the critiques are raving with positive reviews.
Black Panther is more than just a movie, it’s a ray of hope. It dislodges the myth that the world is for a certain culture while the rest of us play catch up. From the confident Chadwick Boseman (Black Panther) to the villainous Michael B. Jordan (Erik Killmonger) and even our very own Lupita Nyong’o (Nakia). The movie goes to show that we don’t always need to look to the west for help, Wakanda resisted colonial rule and has thrived in the world-class nation it is today. Movie Review: Black Panther Is Love, Honour, Betrayal And Facing Up To Responsibilities. A Great Movie To Watch!
The other marginalization issue that the movie has addressed is the inclusion of women. For a long time, women have played supporting characters, and are often sidelined in major movies. Trust me, if Hollywood had a way of replacing women on screens with men, they would have done it. Only recently have we seen a surge in female characters, especially in the theatrical comic universe with the development of movies like Wonder Woman and Super Girl. Black Panther has remedied this with a vast inclusion of female characters who are key to the development of the plot.
The most notable female character in the movie is (no, not Lupita. Unfortunately, I have to be objective) Leticia Wright (Shuri), she is Black Panther’s younger sister and the role fits her like a glove. The seamless chemistry between her and her brother brings life to the movie, not to mention her witty, smart and sarcastic comments. She draws attention to herself in every scene she appears. She is a true inspiration to every young girl out there.
In conclusion, Black Panther is more than a mere two-hour fifteen-minute relief from life. It is the beginning of an era, an inspiration for every person who feels like they don’t fit into the system. Black Panther is here to show you that you don’t need to align yourself with the norm, you can stand out and be unique in your own way and still manage to thrive.