By this time, everybody and their momma has seen the new “Black Panther” movie, so I hope it’s safe to write about it. I don’t want to be that guy who spoiled things for others.
I had been avoiding most social media coverage of the film to make sure I did not accidentally read any spoilers. Aside from watching the trailer and seeing all of the excellent reviews, I knew almost nothing about the movie.
I finally saw it on Tuesday and I LOVED IT. Here’s why:
This movie broke with the tradition of a muscly/smart/rich/kindhearted/some combination of the four White dude being the savior of everyone in the film. Now, don’t get me wrong, I love muscly/smart/rich/kindhearted White dudes probably as much as anyone else. I love the other Marvel movies (Thor, IronMan, etc.) and I even love the DC movies (even though, shame on them for not doing more with the latest Superman story, but I won’t get into my disappointment about that).
I am both Black and female and of course it was a welcome surprise to see Black female leads playing WARRIORS and SCIENTISTS. I won’t spoil it for anyone else, but OMG GO SEE THIS MOVIE. No matter your color or shape of your genitals, it’s amazing.
To be honest, I actually CRIED when I realized the warriors were women. Yes, I sat in the movie theater and cried real tears of joy. I was SO EXCITED to see Black women being the warriors. Is this what it’s like to be a White dude watching “Star Wars?” OMG I can finally relate. I GET IT. The shit’s super exciting!
I can also honestly say that I never *truly* understood how important it is to see representations of yourself in media until yesterday. I have read countless magazines and never felt the pressure to be skinnier, or lighter, or have a specific kind of hair. I usually feel nothing. I am writer, so I have always focused on the written content of printed media instead of the photos.
But, to actually feel SOMETHING when you see people in media who look like you, wow, that’s amazing. So I cried. Now the internet knows about it and I don’t care. Go see the damn movie. I’m going to see it again.
The gentlemen in the movie are lovely (Chadwick Boseman and Michael B. Jordan are both intellectually and physically amazing, for sure), but THE WOMEN make the movie. Lupita, Letitia, Angela, all of them, I love them.
Beautiful and Rich Cinematography
When you go see it at the theater, try to see it in IMAX if you can. I just happened to see it in IMAX because the movie timing fit my schedule, but what a happy accident. Seeing it on such a huge screen, I felt enveloped in all of the colors and emotion of the story. I especially loved all of the high tech and fight scenes. It’s a beautiful experience, both visually and emotionally.
The After Effect
I actually took a mid-day break from work to go see the movie because I wasn’t feeling well and I was in a deep funk. I couldn’t concentrate at all, so I figured it was worthless to just keep sitting at my desk, getting more and more frustrated.
After the movie, I felt so lifted and inspired. Sometimes I am a pretty staunch cynic, pretty much walking around in my own atmosphere of logical reasoning. But after the movie, the first thing I did was drive to Starbucks and engage a STRANGER in talking about the movie.
I did not drink or eat anything during the movie because I have a bladder the size of a peanut and I couldn’t bear the thought of missing a millisecond to go to the ladies’ room. So, at the end of the movie, I was parched. The drive-thru attendant asked me how my day ways, and I YELLED “IT IS GREAT! I JUST CAME FROM SEEING BLACK PANTHER!!!” GAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH
I was on some kind of weird high! I told her to go see it and after she responded with a nice, but cordial, response, I said again, “NO, YOU REALLY MUST GO SEE IT.” It’s like I’d found the cure to melancholy at the movie theater and it was my job to tell everyone about it.
Those are my top three reasons for loving “Black Panther.” It is amazingly well done and it truly deserves all of the praise that you read about on the Internet. I hope you, too, will go see it…and again, and again, and again, and a fourth time for good measure.
Until tomorrow, my friends…