Opinion

Excuse the Xhosa accents, but Black Panther is marvel-ous

Qhamani Dapo

A superhero movie that did more than saving characters on the screen, but saved Africa’s image from being further distorted by a stubbornly ignorant Hollywood.

Wakanda coming to life felt a bit different than what we all expected, but Marvel did an excellent job at capturing Africanism in the visuals and most importantly, the plot. The rich colours and original score by Kendrick Lamar was on point, but undoubtedly the easy part in any African story, and although this easy part was done exceptionally well, our people will be more impressed by the storyline’s significance to Africans, and to Blacks all around the world. As any other Western movie, it couldn’t shake away the difficulties of African dialogue. As we saw in Captain America: Civil War, Wakanda’s native language is isiXhosa, one of South Africa’s most complex languages. Filled with difficult pronounciation, the language in the movie was not done justice. However, I was satisfied by the effort of the Hollywood actors and the significant amount of actual Xhosa speakers featured in the movie. Within the first 5 minutes, my longing for real Xhosa was appeased with great flair by Atandwa Kani, who depicts King T’Chaka senior at a younger age.

Marvel’s Cinematic Universe accomplished something great by making an awesome superhero movie (as always), gave the African theme a real and long awaited piece of the pie in the Box Office, and was actually a flick for literally everyone. As usual, you don’t have to be a fan of Superhero movies to enjoy a Marvel flick, but this time it gave us themes of politics, social issues, familial vibes, a bit of romance in addition to the fast paced action. I was even jealous of Boseman’s relationship with his sister, and jealous of their cool handshake (It’s in the trailer, so it’s not a spoiler, calm down.)

Boseman did an excellent job at looking both like a world leader and an ass-kicker, which is attributed to the fantastic wardrobe team. They also kicked-ass, maybe a bit more than T’Chaka even. Score, wardrobe and cast made this movie a marvel (see what I did there). The writers however, I feel borrowed a few things from other movies, like The Lion King, which is not entirely their fault as they had some guidance from the comic books. But in some parts the movie felt a bit too familiar.

Overall, the movie deserved all the hype, lived up too many, though not all, of our wildest dreams, and is actually satisfying. For the beginning of a franchise, it did much better than most Marvel movies. The most beautiful thing it achieved in my opinion, was bringing African people together. The vibe in the cinema was amazing, everyone connecting with everyone, sharing jokes and affection for the things we recognised.

Also remember, the movie is a part of Marvel’s Cinematic Universe, so this means it has two post credit scenes. So make sure to enjoy the music after the movie ends, and wait until the very last credits scroll up to fully complete the movie.

Black people did vow to say the movie is good, even if it wasn’t, till our very last breath. As a black Xhosa person, I can honestly say this will be easy to do.

More than good. Marvel-ous.

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Categories: Opinion

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