If anyone thinks the trailer for The Woman King is great, then wait until one actually sees the whole movie. While I was watching and marveling at the awesomeness of this film, I couldn’t help, but think how, in a lot of ways, this story feels like Marvel’s Black Panther. However, I mean that, obviously, without the superheroics and the comic stylings. And I also mean that the true story behind this movie is that amazing, exciting, and oh so fascinating.
Unlike Panther this movie is based on a real tribe of people with passionate, hard fighting warriors who were willing to sacrifice their flesh, blood, and lives so that their people and culture would remain safe. The story takes place in the 1820s, in the African kingdom of Dahomey, a simple, but proud community of hard-working people with a rich culture. During this time many Africans feared for their lives as many slave traders would invade their land and abduct people of various ages to be bought and sold. In order to maintain some semblance of peace, certain kingdoms and tribes compromised with the slavers and allowed some of their people to be taken.
However, under the reign of the new king Ghezo (John Boyega), the Dahomey would cease all compromises with the slave traders. The Dahomey would remain under the strict protection of their warriors, including the elite group of female soldiers called the Agojie. Lead by General Nanisca (Viola Davis), the Agojie proudly and passionately fought against all enemies who compromised for the slave trade. This violent and costly conflict would reunite Nanisca with a violent and vicious antagonist from her past.
Written by Maria Bello and Dana Stevens, and directed by Gina Prince-Bythewood, The Woman King is certainly one of the best films of the year. From the screenplay, to the direction of both the dramatic and action scenes, and also the incredible performances by the cast, this movie is an absolute triumph that deserves to be experienced on the big screen. This movie just grabs you by the eyes, heart and soul, and doesn’t let go until it takes you into a warm embrace. It is a beautiful and exciting experience.
And this movie is not just an example of prime writing, direction, and editing, The Woman King is a wonderful showcase of acting prowess. It should come as no surprise that Viola Davis is amazing, because she is always amazing! She has yet to disappoint when it comes to acting. I also very much enjoyed the fierce, but occasionally disarming performance by Lashana Lynch who portrays warrior and trainer Izogie. Also very impressive is a wonderful young actor by the name of Thuso Mbedu who stars and shines as Nawi, a hot-tempered and willful new recruit for the Agojie. She is absolutely phenomenal in her role
At this time, it is definitely too soon to say how high this film will rank in my year-end best-of list. As of this time, though, I simply cannot gush any more about this movie. It certainly has stolen my heart and is guaranteed to earn a passionate and enthusiastic fandom. Be sure to see this one in the theater. This movie deserves a massive screen, an awesome sound system, and one’s undivided attention, heart and soul.