Speaking through the screen

“Black Panther” scores high in box offices and opinions around the world


Brooke McKelvey

On the opening night of “Black Panther,” theaters everywhere set out a large queuing system in order to keep up with the large amount of fans.

Attracting a wide array of fans, from those wearing Marvel shirts to fans dressed in traditional attire similar to the characters in the film, Marvel’s “Black Panther” strikes home. Not only does it set the stage for the upcoming film “Avengers: Infinity War,” but it addresses global and familial issues at the same time.

Following his brief introduction and the death of his father in “Captain America: Civil War,” T’Challa, played by Chadwick Boseman, dons the role of Black Panther in this solo movie. His home country Wakanda desperately needs a change in leadership, and isn’t sure whether or not T’Challa is the king they need. With an extensive supply of vibranium, the strongest metal in the Marvel Universe, many Wakandans feel that it is time for them to step out of the shadows and use their resources to help countries in need.

The leader of this revolution is Erik Killmonger, played by Michael B. Jordan. Killmonger is the main villain in this movie, for he believes that vibranium should be used to create weapons for those in need. Although he fills the role of an antagonist, Killmonger breaks the mold of every Marvel villain that has come before him. His “evil plan” definitely makes him a villain, but some of his reasoning causes audience members to take a step back and really wonder how far off he is.

Killmonger brings out a new side of Marvel, but T’Challa’s sister Shuri, played by Letitia Wright, keeps the movie tied to the lighthearted and comical aspect Marvel is known for. Not only does she provide comic relief by acting as a typical teenage sister, but she is an integral part in tying traditional Wakanda to the modern world both in and outside of film. With all of the political issues touched on, there were moments where it almost didn’t even feel like a superhero movie, but Shuri was able to remind the audience that yes, this was still Marvel.

One of the criteria that makes this film revolutionary is the undeniable fact that this is the first large-scale black superhero film. Going in, I was worried that they would focus too much on this, but the film incorporated this in a very balanced manner. For me, the most memorable scene was when T’Challa addresses members of the United Nations calling a desperate need for unity over the typical action scenes. In this moment, Boseman was more than just a superhero, he was speaking for diplomacy all over the world.

As far as the film’s creation, the costumes and cinematography were brilliant. There were a few shots where you could tell that they used a green screen, but a majority of the time they made Wakanda seem like an actual place. The traditions of Wakanda were carried out so well through costumes and makeup that it felt almost like a documentary of a real place. Another subtle but important aspect was the music; there was a lot of rap which mirrored their advanced technology, but also traditional African music that acknowledged Wakanda’s history.

The movie was a little over two hours, and by the time I left, I felt as if I had been watching it for hours. This wasn’t a bad thing, however, because there was never a dull moment. At the current success rate “Black Panther” is having, I will be surprised if this isn’t Marvel’s top grossing movie in box offices, and I think they have put themselves in a strong position for the rest of their upcoming movie releases.