Power in Wakanda is a link to the past and a mythical legacy. But, especially, with love and spiritual commitment. Something that is clear every time Queen Ramonda, played by Angela Bassett, remembers her place in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.
Stoic and firm, she exercises control of the most powerful country in the Marvel universe after successive losses. Mother of a beloved and respected king, she is forced to take her place in the midst of an unthinkable circumstance. Despite the fact that she must also go through the harsh stage of mourning and support her daughter Shuri (Letitia Wright) in suffering.
Ramonda is the symbol of everything that the high-tech territory imagined by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby can be. It is the reflection of her ancestors, the nucleus of a family that lost all its members. Finally, the only one capable of facing a world that stalks Wakanda with increasingly frontal violence.
The director and screenwriter Ryan Coogler reserved the character of Ramonda as fundamentally relevant when it came to understanding the conflict in the film. In the plot, the world of Black Panther collapses due to an uncontrollable circumstance. For the filmmaker, showing that slow fall was of considerable interest.
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Wakanda under the rigor of mourning
Particularly when the whole story is a tribute to the subtext, to the collective memory of a narrative with an ethnic accent. The fictional country of Black Panther: Wakanda Forever is a culture that grew up in the shadow of secrecy and with its own rules. Likewise, linked to a legendary and emblematic hero.
T’Challa’s death left Wakanda without both layers of its mythical past. So his mother Ramonda embodies the uncertainty of the future. Much more than that: she battles to keep standing the last fragments of the country as she knew it. After all, she lived out the long and satisfying tenure of King T’Chaka and watched his son assume hereditary duty to his illustrious family line. The loss of her, both one and the other, pushes her to occupy the chair of a desolate throne.
Ramonda is a queen who knows that the future depends on her.
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever is not a simple movie nor does it pretend to be. Written and filmed after the death of actor Chadwick Boseman, it is a profound reflection on absence. Also an exploration of the meaning of historical responsibility and legacy.
Coogler, who had already envisioned a sequel to 2018’s hit Black Panther, was forced to recast its premise. Not only because of the absence of the late actor. At the same time, to ask entirely new questions about the meaning of the original film as an ethnic emblem.
In fact, it is this perception of the story of the mythical hero of African origin that gives the film its markedly political tone. Ramonda personifies it by becoming the voice of a people facing contempt and external pressure. Black Panther: Wakanda Forever is more interested in delving into lore than using it as an excuse to allow the action to move forward.
Which makes the role of Queen Ramonda essential to understanding the distinctive rebelliousness of the region and its people. Almost unintentionally, she became the figure that holds a territory together. One that bases her integrity on hereditary ritually passed down. Something that T’Challa’s death and Shuri’s refusal to take her place called into question.
The metaphor of the ideals of Wakanda
Ramonda knows that a battle for power is coming. One whose initial indications are shown as attempts to colonize, for the first time, Wakanda. But the confrontation will be fought on two fronts. On the one hand, the powers of the world making the kingdom their goal. On the other, Talocan, a new enemy with resources comparable to those of the country. The queen will then have to appeal to what she represents as the center where the history of a dying dynasty and an absent hero come together.
Perhaps one of the character’s most poignant nuances is that her courage and temperance come from deep suffering. Widow and mother of a dead son, she expresses her grief through the conviction that Wakanda must stand. The last vestige of a long transit that turns the territory into an enclave of self-determination. “We are a free-hearted country,” Ramonda shouts to the council of tribes. “It is the gift of the ancestors.”
Actress Angela Bassett, known for her dramatic roles, gave her performance an unflinching grit that sustains the film at its best. Her performance moved the public and dazzled the critics. So far, she’s garnered a Golden Globe and a surprise Oscar nomination for best supporting actress. Her embodiment of the spirit of the wilds proved that Black Panther: Wakanda Forever is much more than the sequel to a good film storytelling.
The sequel is Chadwick Boseman’s spiritual farewell. A sober proposal that completely separates from the optimistic spirit of most of the productions of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. There’s hardly any humor and his post-credits scene is a finely constructed allegory about death and redemption.
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Ramonda, as a vital point of the script, shows all the strength of a premise based on redemption and the duty to do good. A queen who fought against fear from justice and without ever resorting to revenge. A dignified figure who is undoubtedly one of the brightest characters in the world of Marvel.