My Take-Aways From Black Panther
From an amateur critical perspective, I have similar thoughts to most of the professionals: Black Panther was great. It was visually striking and well-acted, particularly by the supporting cast around Chadwick Boseman, who seemed a little boring compared to his striking and nuanced collection of allies and villains - Michael B. Jordan especially; he killed it.
So in an effort to not bore you, Dear Reader, with more of the same, here are some random thoughts inspired by the film…
We are all born with the experience of being human, but not with duty to aid our fellow humans. The first part is guaranteed, and the latter part is, hopefully, elected. Societies, just like the individuals that comprise them, can withdraw from others due to fear, animosity or stubbornness. It takes bravery to be vulnerable, to open one’s arms to the world and attempt to right wrongs and elevate the downtrodden. Doing so has been taught in every religion that I know of as the highest calling one can answer. Isolationism is selfish, and in the long run will not make the individual or the nation a more noble or honorable place.
Perhaps naively, I did not think that I would live in a time wherein the simple act of having a cast of individuals whose skin isn’t white would be an act of protest. But here we are. Casting actors representative of the human race at large has become a countermeasure against the trolls who seek to elevate themselves by lauding their perceived superiority over those they scapegoat for societal ills. And it works; it makes the trolls seethe with anger and all-caps tweet themselves or rage in cable news commentary every time they see women and people of color on the big screen in front of them. The more the trolls meltdown, the more pathetic and antiquated they look. Keep it up, Hollywood.
The first act of Black Panther is basically a Bond flick, and its apex is a casino fight-turned car chase. First of all, I will watch any movie with a casino fight. (I hope to witness one someday. I’ve always wanted to be the guy hiding under the craps table stuffing his pockets with the black chips and those ones that are shaped like cards that I’ll never be rich, good or lucky enough to win.) Secondly, related to the last point, just let Idris Elba be James Bond now, please, for Christsakes. Hollywood, if you need help with how to explain the Idris Elba Bond’s origin story, I’ve already got it written for you: James Bond was born and raised in Scotland, enlisted in the Royal Navy at age eighteen. His exceptional intelligence and physical prowess led to his ensuing recruitment by MI6.
TA-DAAAA! That’s all you need to explain. There are white people in Africa and black people in Europe. If anyone can’t wrap their mind around this, they probably won’t be able to figure out how to buy a movie ticket anyhow.
I do not know how to fight with a spear or against a person who has a spear.
I am a giant moron for not investing in Disney as soon as I learned that they bought Marvel and Star Wars.