Black Panther

I love going to the movies alone. I mean I absolutely love it. Especially if it is a Marvel movie. In that case I like to keep the white noise minimum. I have been on dates where we watched Marvel movies together; it was my idea of course. But then I would get so busy doing other things and the tension would be so high that I ended up missing many important bits. It might be just a movie to you, but for me it’s a lifestyle. So when the screen was turned off before the second post-credit scene at the end of Black Panther I wanted to go out and punch the mofo who had done the sacrilege.

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 Whenever a Marvel movie releases I feel this newfound will to live. Same thing happens during the transition period when I order something online. For people like me, we need such constant boosts to keep our hopes alive. Just like diabetes patient needs insulin injection. Ever since our Rajasthan trip ended my purpose to live shifted to Black Panther. I didn’t even have to order anything online in between. My friend was supposed to visit me next week which is now getting postponed so I may require to find something to feel this void soon. A road trip to Dharamshala is materializing but that’s not gonna happen before April. But anyway, that’s a different story.

Black Panther is probably the boldest movie Marvel has ever made. It doesn’t have alien villain, clandestine Nazi cult, magical weapons or first-world superheroes. This time the superhero is the king of a third-world nation, Wakanda. The villain isn’t really a villain. He is more like the victim of circumstances. His agenda is neither some typical comic-bookish fantastic goal. He rather talks about something very real, very political and of course, very much sensitive.

The story starts right after the episode of Civil War (the Marvel version). After the king of Wakanda, T’chaka dies in an explosion staged by Zemo (watch Captain America: Civil War) the title falls on his son, T’challa. But after his coronation as the new king he faces another threat. Eric Killmonger. A former assassin of CIA who wants to overthrow T’challa and become the new king. Until now Wakanda has remained a closed country. An overly defensive external strategy made owing to one factor. Vibranium. World’s strongest metal which is only found in Wakanda. For years the nation kept hiding their technological advancement and put up the fa├žade of a poor African nation and they were successful at it. But now everything is at stake.

As I said, it’s a bold movie. It talks about racial conflict, colonization, external policy of a nation, and how past actions can affect present and future of everything. Heroes are fallible humans here. And villains are victims. In the end you wouldn’t exactly feel victorious. You would rather feel sad.

Marvel is growing up. Now a superhero movie comes with bold political statement. It’s no longer so black and white. And most importantly, female protagonists are getting better. Black Panther has some really badass women. In fact Wakanda has a whole army of female warriors and the Army General is a woman. King’s technological advisor is a woman. And the future queen travels the world to serve people. I love Chadwick Boseman and his portrayal of Black Panther ever since he first appeared in Captain America: Civil War. But here the ladies stole the show. Every time they were kicking asses my eyes were getting moist. Martin Freeman has more screen-time here and needless to say how much I love him. Michael B Jordan should be grateful to Marvel Studios for rehabilitating him after the Fantastic Four fiasco and he did full justice to his misguided, ruthless yet morally conflicted portrayal of Eric Killmonger. Another point I must mention here. The costumes. The fashionista in me was feeling euphoric seeing those vibrant colours, patterns and silhouettes. I think I need some African trinkets in my closet. And a jungle print off-shoulder jumpsuit.

What else to say now? Did you yield to king T'challa? I definitely did. And now that we are done with Black Panther, let’s gear up for May, 2018. Infinity War is coming, bitches!

See that smile? I call it the 'Marvel glow'.