A tribute to Chadwick Boseman - Things to learn from Black Panther
Image Credit - Gianny Filizzola
I've always loved superhero movies -- especially from Marvel. They're fun, hopeful and the corny lines make me warm, tingly and a little embarrassed. They have always been lovely but alien. The world is getting destroyed but it is mostly centred around the West. Yes, I know we got a shot of Dr Banner in India but come on! I wanna see the Avengers zooming around Taj Mahal, don't you?
It is somewhat understandable -- it is Hollywood, they can't represent all countries.
That's what made Black Panther different. We got a glimpse of Africa, different accents. Heck, we finally got a black superhero! I know I'm not African or black, but I still felt more connected. It was more personal. Unfortunately, our first black superhero Chadwick Boseman has passed away after his battle from cancer, but his legacy will always be remarkable. The Black Panther was the first superhero movie to ever receive a nomination for 'Best Pictures' at the Oscars. It ended up bagging three Oscars.
Black Panther was the strongest Avenger -- at least in the comics. In Avengers #33, the Moon Knight defeats all Avengers except Black Panther.
The setting of Black Panther was obviously different. Wakanda had a different culture and the movie showed me how preserving and being proud of your roots can actually be cool. It integrated the modern 'techie stuff' so beautifully while trying to retain the unique indigenous qualities of Wakanda. The tribes were anything but primitive. Look at the Border Tribe -- they had battle rhinos as their 'cattle'.Their shields looked like Basotho blankets, traditional pieces of attire worn by Sotho people in Southern Africa but they were additionally woven with vibranium in the movie. It even helped them hide their weaponry. That's how you represent a culture MCU, good for you!
You know how Iron Man works secretively, Spiderman sneaks away to save the world and Hulk wants to be left alone? Black Panther was different -- he was a King. He valued unity in his empire. The Jabari Tribe, the River tribe and even the priests were appreciated by him. MCU didn't create a know-it-all cocky leader, it gave us a King who knew a State couldn't flourish without acknowledging all the people it integrates.
The movie integrated Wakanda's ancient arts with branches of reputable sciences. The priests in Wakanda were spiritual while practising botany and herbology. I like the message, it has been an interesting theme which has been picking up a lot recently from video games like Assassin's Creed to literature like The Lost Symbol. Actually here is a cool quote from the book by Dan Brown :
"Modern polarity is nothing but the 'dual world' described by Krishna here in the Bhagavad Gita over two thousand years ago."
Image Credit - Felipe Trindade
Women in Black Panther are terrific. I love how Dora Milajae, the all-women army is so formidable. Their head Okoye is so insanely loyal to T'challa that she forgoes her own husband W'kabi for him. Shuri, the King's sister is one of the sharpest minds in the whole world, even Dr Banner approves that. Remember when Vision wanted the mind stone out of him but everybody was scared that it would wreck him? It was Shuri who attempted to remove it. So, we have got formidable women, loyal women, intelligent women. The movie gave us a diplomatic queen too -- Nakia!
She wasn't limited by being a side character in the story. She was the superhero's love interest but she was also passionate about change. It was she who convinced the Black Panther to finally open up Wakanda's doors to the world. This was arguably one of the most momentous change that happened in the Avengers' storyline.
Image Credit - John Euclid Templonuevo
The movie's diversity and uniqueness reflected how amazing this world can be if we give people an opportunity to present their skills despite their race, religion or any other criteria that may hinder them. We got an amazing actor by honouring this philosophy.
Goodbye Chadwick, you will be missed.