7 Reasons Why Black Panther Is The Movie Of the Century


Matt Kennedy

Marvel Studios’ BLACK PANTHERT’Challa/Black Panther (Chadwick Boseman)Photo: Matt Kennedy©Marvel Studios 2018

LeAna Butler, Staff Writer

Black Panther has been out for about a month now.  It has smashed records at the box office and received countless raving reviews. Personally, I have seen this amazing film four times since its release, each time having to wait in insane lines just to get into the theater. There was absolute chaos in every theater lobby I entered en route to see the movie, and yet I find that it was absolutely worth it each time I went to see it. With each time I viewed the film, I took away something new and my love for the movie only grew. Black Panther is so important for a number of reasons; it is a one-of-a-kind movie and an absolute must see!  In case you need a little convincing, here are seven reasons why I feel Black Panther is the movie of the century:


#1. Representation:

    Black Panther was not only directed by Ryan Coogler a black man (who also directed the highly successful film Creed) but also includes a majority black cast with distinguished actors such as Lupita Nyongo, Michael B Jordan, Chadwick Boseman, Angela Bassett and more.  Strong black women take center stage in this movie; they are not reliant on anyone, they are not simply eye-candy, nor do they take a backseat to the men. The women’s role in this movie is simply inspiring. The film highlights beauty and intelligence of black men and women from beginning to end, even when it comes to the villains.  This type of positive representation is extremely lacking for people of color so the movie is extremely unique in this aspect and many are excited about this display of black excellence.


#2. Shuri:

Letitia Wright brings to life the witty and brilliant character of Shuri (who is by far my favorite character). Shuri is the sister to King T’challa, she is the sister everyone would want and the teacher everyone needs.  As the leader of the Wakandan design group, she creates much of the mind-blowing Wakandan technology that viewers see in the movie. Aside from the serious black girl magic that she adds to this film, her hilarious comments give some relief to intense scenes Black Panther includes. She is independent, she is strong, and she is fearless. Shuri is an inspiration to young girls everywhere especially those with an interest in science and technology.


#3. Important Political Commentary: 

If you are looking for this important aspect of the film, keep an eye out for the antagonist of the story: Killmonger aka Michael B. Jordan. MBJ’s character is the vehicle through which the film opens up conversations on racial profiling, colonization, and racism in America.  Killmonger is the villain and arguably one of the most complex characters. His journey and his story are extremely relatable to Black Americans; his pain and anger stem from realizing a government has the tools to help a struggling portion of their people but is refusing to. His anger is extremely valid and understandable, so much so that I would hesitate to even call him a villain. This aspect of the film, and the complexity of the antagonist character is extremely important because(assuming the audience makes the connection) it opens these conversations to people who may not be directly affected by the issues and promotes empathy in the real world.


#4. Individual Story-line Potential:

I think one of the most unique aspects of Black Panther is the individualism of each character.  The “supporting” characters do not solely exist to assist the main character. There is no Batman and Robin dynamic; each character has the potential to be a main character in a movie of their own. In this movie, there are no pointless characters, every single person who graces your screen as you are watching takes an integral part in the film.  


#5. Costume design/ Hair & Makeup :

Costume designer Ruth E. Carter and Hair Stylist Camille Friend are the brilliant minds behind the elaborate and culturally significant hair and wardrobe seen in Black Panther. Though Wakanda is a fictional African country, the costuming includes traditional garbs from various African tribes. Makeup and costuming in this movie are absolutely breathtaking; Carter and Friend deserve much acknowledgement for their months of research to bring an authentic African feel to the film.  


#6. Nakia:

I may be a little bias because personally I think Lupita Nyong’o is a Goddess on earth, but I feel her character- Nakia, just makes the entire movie.  The dynamic of her and King T’challa’s love story is different than any I have ever seen. Nakia is independent, extremely intelligent, and she would rather be getting her hands dirty helping people than becoming Queen of Wakanda.  Her character is truly a warrior…she is not simply the girlfriend who sends her guy into the fight, she gets in the fight alongside everyone else and fights just as hard if not harder. Like all the women in this amazing movie, she is extremely loyal and puts the good of Wakanda above all, her character is inspiring. Also, Lupita Nyong’o is undeniably gorgeous and adds to the representation of darker skin black women in media.


#7. Wakanda:

It is impossible to leave the theater after watching Black Panther, and not have a burning desire to visit Wakanda/ be a Wakandan.  The visual effects team on this movie deserve major props for their work.  Visually, Wakanda is absolutely breathtaking, but what really makes Wakanda so incredibly special is how insanely technologically advanced it is. Princess Shuri (played by Letitia Wright)is head of the Wakandan Design Group and her creations are things that we could only dream of. The authentic African culture embedded in the creation of Wakanda is fascinating and it would not be surprising if Africa’s tourism rates rise this year, travelers who want to experience the beautiful culture for themselves!