When released, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever proved that it was the most sober production of the fourth phase of Marvel. At the same time, that the tribute to the memory of Chadwick Boseman, took the film franchise to a new place of maturity. Something that seemed to be reaffirmed with the nominations that the film obtained for the future delivery of the Academy Awards.
In addition to achieving recognition for Angela Bassett’s performance as Queen Ramonda, there were also technical awards. Although it may seem unimportant, each of them demonstrates the evolution in the discourse of Marvel movies. In particular, both costumes and make-up and hairdressing, categories of relevance for a markedly ethnic argument. Coogler’s production is an exploration through Wakanda as a country, which moved from a utilitarian context to the heart of the premise.
Much more when the script for Black Panther: Wakanda Forever had to go through all kinds of changes after the death of its main figure. The passing of Chadwick Boseman was included in the narrative without concealing its impact, giving it weight and particular symbolism. Which made the movie go from a sequel or a successful project to a clever analysis of several different elements.
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Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, the transformation in the midst of the tragedy
The sequel to the already iconic Black Panther then became an emblem of transformation and also a vehicle for dueling. Between the two, Coogler’s work took on transcendental importance in the irregular and highly criticized fourth phase of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Focused on delving into more elaborate topics than fun and action, Coogler highlighted an essential aspect in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever. Her stories can mature along with her audience. Becoming more thorough and well-constructed as the generation that followed Marvel for a decade grows older.
A complicated dilemma that the studio is currently facing, in the midst of the transition between stages. With the previous one leaving a series of critical disappointments in its wake and the next one being an unknown quantity, the saga is on shaky ground. But Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, with all its solemnity, points to the franchise’s ability to reinvent itself.
A film capable of competing beyond the superhero genre
An extreme that extends into all aspects of the feature film. The aesthetics, the tone, even the dialogues, express a new kind of depth. Coogler managed to make a shoot that went through all kinds of eventualities to sum up the effort of a talented team. On several occasions, the director and screenwriter explained how the filming process allowed them to delve into particularly confused feelings. “I came to think about leaving the cinema, but then I decided that it was worth continuing,” he said in an interview with Vanity Fair.
The joint commitment and the goal of celebrating the identity of Black Panther: Wakanda Forever became a priority. Something that is clear in how the designers Julia Koerner and the Oscar winner Ruth Carter devised a wardrobe that encompasses various stages of mourning. Also in that, in addition to being functional and attractive, it shows the history of both Wakanda and Talocan.
The result is almost an anthropological study of fictional cultures. From clothes to jewelry. Each detail in the outfits reflects on an aspect of the mystery of both regions. Something that Carter had already achieved in 2019 for the African kingdom. In 2022, the proposal is even more complex by including the underwater territory of Namor.
Part of that weight on the customs, traditions and beliefs of two civilizations with common parallels is the reason for the triumph of the plot of Black Panther: Wakanda Forever. It is not just a recreation of the rivalry of narrative interest. The argument delves into how the social and the historical converge in the concepts of power. One, moreover, based on a novel moral connotation.
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever went through far more sophisticated settings than any other movie in the superhero genre. From mourning, collective and individual, to the search for redemption. Coogler’s script carefully explains the heroism from the sensitive element.
Beyond vibranium, high-tech weapons, and expanded universe conflict, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever has a purpose. Prove that Marvel’s legendary figures stand above his humanity.
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, great topics narrated in a new way
Rihanna’s song Lift Me Up, written for the project, is nominated for an Oscar in the category of best musical theme of the year. With its melancholic lyrics, it is a hymn to longing. Perhaps the most direct way to understand the weight that feelings have in the story. Although the Marvel Cinematic Universe is known for its emotional dimension, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever focuses in particular on the extreme.
Shuri (Letitia Wright) is unable to get over her brother’s death and the story shows your process in detail. On the other hand, Ramonda (Angela Bassett) must uphold as best she can a political system based on secrecy that is under threat.
All while the pain of loss gradually crushes them. Even the minor characters, like M’Baku (Winston Duke) and Okoye (Danai Gurira), express their suffering clearly.
A lesson for the Marvel Cinematic Universe
The storytelling’s ability to analyze nuances of its characters allows all its arcs to complement each other. Even that they find in their post-credits scene an emblem of hope that encompasses them all. Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, which was born out of mourning, is, as paradoxical as it may seem, a celebration of life. At the same time, a cathartic journey for the actors and the public.
With far more thematic and symbolic aspirations than any other Marvel film, Coogler’s production demonstrated that superhero movies can increase their ambitions. And do it without losing its essence.
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In the end, the big sendoff to a beloved actor became a significant step for the film franchise. The demonstration of his narrative intelligence and, at the same time, of the way in which the future of his premise can be built in its entirety. A lesson that will surely be clearer and more necessary in the next phase, still a question mark.