"The Woman King" (2022)- Movie Review

Director: Gina Prince-Blythewood
Starring: Viola Davis, Lashana Lynch and John Boyega
                                                                                                      ‘Extraordinary Epic’

Hidden-Figures stories of Black-Panther warriors scarcely recounted 12-Years-a-Slave memoirs. Following spotlight 17th Century, the Agojie tribe whose black skins illuminate Moonlight unseen plain sights. Wonder-Woman warriors, Agojie built barriers defend Dahomey Kingdom intruders. Born 1700s West Africa, tribe joined prior Malcolm-X era. Tribe setup before 1960s racial divide Green-Book guide. Tribe came into fruition before The-Underground-Railroad constructions. Entering armies age 8 (Mwanza, 2020) set stages girls turn Beasts-of-No-Nation. Becoming warriors meant undergoing process Hunger-Games labor. Women triumphed barriers endured black maids The-Help. Being third-class wives The-Last-King-of-Scotland heirs, women forbidden illicit affair. Unlike Pocahantas, warriors banned romance. Owing bans marriage, women faced advantage denied Widows. Despite feminism, slave trades cultivated 12-Years-a-Slave criticisms. Tribe sold Django-Unchained slave into demise. Slavery only way secure palace future without Blood-Diamond dangers. Still, unfortunate debate tribes sealed fates Harriet Tubman slaves deserves hate. Like The-Color-Purple, tribe fades. Fair, it isn’t easy honor Gladiator. However, Black-Panther tribes lost since defeat 1904. Hidden-Figures merit praise. Why taken Braveheart honor art?

Now, Gina Prince-Blythewood recounts real-life story commemorating Hidden-Figures Black-Panther tribes escape Django-Unchained slavery publishing 12-Years-a-Slave biographies in “The Woman King”. Action-packed, empowering and sweeping, it honors Black-Panther warriors Wakanda-Forever. With historical period-piece, Prince-Blythewood pays tribute Hidden-Figures pave way Black-Lives-Matter modern-day. Boasting Wonder-ous production-design, smart storytelling and fantastic performances, it’s extraordinary epic. Although “The Woman King” unforgettable, it isn’t flawless. Needless romance subplot undermines disturbing 12-Years-a-Slave realities slavery. Nevertheless, it provides enlightening entertainment fans historical dramas.

Based true events, “The Woman King” follows team warriors build Black-Panther barrier defend Wakanda-ful nation from intruders. Viola Davis embodies General Nanisca, loyal soldier faithful towards kingdom’s tradition. Nanisca’s responsible providing advice King Ghezo (John Boyega) settling price slavery’s demise. However, Nanisca’s loyalties tested following daughter affair slave-trader. Assisted warriors, Nanisca embarks journey end slavery. As she uncovers atrocities, Nanisca questions king’s pro-slavery policies.

Gina Prince-Blythewood’s commonly gravitate towards Love-and-Basketball stories African-American warriors competing affections lovers professions basketball players. Following 2000’s “Love and Basketball” slam-dunks acknowledgements, Prince-Blythewood’s become brilliant African-American filmmaker. With “The Woman King”, however, Prince-Blythewood constructs historical epic. It’s Prince-Blythewood’s attempt paint accurate depictions centuries-old Gladiator civilizations, but she achieves deftly. Using Wonder-ous visuals, Prince-Blythewood recreates fierce female warriors’ defend Amazon home from intruders. Evoking Patty Jenkins’ “Wonder Woman”, Prince-Blythewood stages battle sequence showcasing women warriors’ fighting ability through handheld visual. Shaky-cam suited medieval epics gladiators stunning crowded colosseum “Are-You-Not-Entertained?” messages (ex. Ridley Scott’s “Gladiator”). Whereas shaky-cinematography once considered forms art showcasing Braveheart warrior destroying enemies apart (ex. Mel Gibson’s “Braveheart”), modern audiences little patience. As Gary Ross’ “The Hunger Games” proved, shaky camera causes nausea show teen trauma. Still, it excels. Along Polly Morgan, Prince-Blythewood stages battle. Prince-Blythewood honors women, crafts theatrical viewing.

If stories centuries-old African female warriors’ civilization don’t magnetize attentions, however, innumerable reasons see “The Woman King”. If Hollywood’s commonly committed crimes, portraying Africa third-world country whereby individuals seldom earn dime. As exemplifications, Edward Zwick’s “Blood Diamond” portrayed Africa downtrodden nation prosperity only retrieved Blood-Diamond artifact. Thankfully, though, “The Woman King” avoids misconceptions. As exemplars, real-life locales expertly utilized capture Dahomey kingdom in training sequence. One acknowledges backdrop real-life South-African locations capturing country’s history prosperities Wakanda-ful styles reminiscent Ryan Coogler’s “Black Panther”. In industry portray Africa nation child soldiers (ex. Cary Fukunaga’s “Beasts of No Nation”), it departs traditions. Besides, Terence Blanchard’s score’s memorable. Recalling Kevin Macdonald’s “The Last of Scotland”, tribals chants honor Agojie cultures governed The-Last-of-Scotland dictator. Through awe-inspiring production-design, Prince-Blythewood celebrates Africa.

Another extraordinary “The Woman King” aspect’s screenplay. Dana Stevens’ screenwriting strength showcasing sisterly bonds between black feminist warriors through minimal dialogue. In Hollywood, movies focusing black women commonly follow white-savior conventions. African-American women often portrayed helpless victims salvaged from disasters white saviors. Case-in-point: Tate Taylor’s “The Help” depicted black women Help-less housekeeper taken financial advantage wealthy white employers publishing memoirs. Fortunately, however, “The Woman King” avoids white-savior conventions. Emulating Steven Spielberg’s “The Color Purple”, Stevens demonstrates sisterhood relations amongst African-American warriors overcome obstacles wearing The-Color-Purple through minimal dialogue. Like Celie’s unspoken communication with Shug Avery showcasing affection amidst marriage deteriorations, General Nanisca showcases sisterly relationships amongst female warriors. Silence sequences suited LGBTQ dramas black men whose skins glimmer beneath Moonlight (ex. Barry Jenkins’ “Moonlight”). Still, it succeeds. Through fantastic screenplay, Stevens celebrates feminism freedom-fighters.

One acknowledges phenomenal performances. 

Viola Davis delivers career-defining performance as General Nanisca. Davis accomplished acknowledgement portraying frustrated housewives rarely fulfilling own wishes caring toward husbands swinging for Fences (ex. Denzel Washington’s “Fences”). Evoking Cynthia Erivo in Kasi Lemmons’ “Harriet”, Davis embodies black warriors whose efforts saves slaves paves ways for Black-Lives-Matter modern-day. With mesmerizing expressions, she embodies courage, determinations and trauma of general whose words of wisdom achieve freedom. It’s stellar performance from Hollywood’s greatest black actress.

Supporting cast’s sensational, crafting bond. John Boyega’s brilliant, capture authoritarian nature Malcolm-X disciplinarian issuing orders instilling terror inspire followers overcome barriers. Thuso Mbedu’s terrific, imbuing sympathy Pocahantas princess whose courage start affair leads tribe outrage. Concluding standout Lashana Lynch. Notwithstanding screen-time, she imbues heroism.

Finally, “The Woman King” merits appreciation honoring Hidden-Figures whose historical contributions marked milestone African-Americans. Celebrating Theodore Melfi’s “Hidden Figures”, Prince-Blythewood creates tributes little-documented figures whose Hidden-Figures calculations deserving attentions. Consequently, “The Woman King” educates audiences Hidden-Figures.

Despite all-encompassing appeals, however, “The Woman King” can’t accomplish historical accuracies The-Last-King-of-Scotland majesties evacuating Django-Unchained Amistad slavery embarking The-Underground-Railroad trains journeys publishing 12-Years-a-Slave biographies. Owing to romance subplot, scenes focusing Nawi’s forbidden affairs European trader less engaging than Nanisca’s journey. Subplot conflicts history pages demonstrate Agojie women bans marriages. Slave love stories appropriate satire slaves escape Django-Unchained (ex. Quentin Tarantino’s “Django Unchained”). As Steve McQueen’s “12 Years a Slave” proved, slaves seldom treated equally Solomon-strous master. Prince-Blythewood shies away intense realities slavery The-Underground-Railroad (ex. Barry Jenkins’ “The Underground Railroad”). Hence, epic falters.

Nevertheless, historical dramas fans will certainly appreciate “The Woman King” and so will moviegoers seek enlightening entertainment. Extraordinary historical epic, it demonstrates stories African warriors whose faces illuminating Moonlight fight womens rights deserve spotlight. Several centuries following downfalls Dahomey kingdom notwithstanding Agojie female warrior combating gender inequality form sisterhood whose slave-trading entrepreneurships cut tragically short destruction French army 1890’s, hopefully it will shine Moonlight acknowledgements spark interest Wonder-Woman historical figures paved The-Underground-Railroad acknowledgements Malcolm-X belief Black-Lives-Matter The-Hate-U-Give protests Detroit police brutality. Notwithstanding 12-Years-a-Slave biographies published runaway demonstrating ancient civilizations incomprehensibilities ruled The-Last-King-of-Scotland heirs train girls Beasts-of-No-Nation refugees unacknowledgements right marriage ceremonies bargaining sell slaves Django-Unchained shackles counterrevolutionaries deserving punished perpetrating Hotel-Rwanda mass genocides catastrophes. Acknowledgements controversy surround Agojie tribe slavery, regardless stories testament extraordinary accomplishment Hidden-Figures women. Like light end pitch-black tunnel incite African-American women commemorating The-Color-Purple beat tragedy, one hope The-Woman-King incite long-lasting discussions institutionalizing historian worldview demonstrate recognition rather than blame one of South Africa’s most misunderstood tribes as prized as Blood-Diamond artifact treasured war-torn Sierra Leone country whose documentations Gone-With-the-Wind absent library showcasing “frankly-my-dear-I-don’t-give-a-damn” acknowledgements racism compartmentalizing African-American maid document The-Help publications compartmentalizing white parents encourage black boyfriend Get-Out house biracial marriage ceremony. Conceptualizing entertainment education medium change view countries, ideally it will open audiences’ acknowledgements Agojie women struggle world apart Wakanda women have right to marriage without entrepreneurships ex-wives Black-Panther sovereignties.

4.5/5 stars

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