Usama Masood Ahmad |
Back when Black Panther first premiered and the first murmurs of a possible Best Picture Oscar nomination started, many fans and critics rolled up their sleeves to think of all the possible reasons why Black Panther really was overhyped and undeserving of the achievement.
After all, Black Panther’s nomination would mark the first time a superhero movie ever got nominated for Best Picture. But who would have known that when the Oscars 2019 nominations would be announced, the batch of nominated films would be so weak that Black Panther would not only seem deserving of its nomination but also, better than a lot of them.
With films as terrible as Bohemian Rhapsody, as problematic as Green Book and as disjointed as Vice making the cut, it’s hard not to praise Black Panther for being amongst the best-nominated films in its category. The Marvel movie, featuring the comic book studio’s first black lead superhero, surprised everyone with how much it resonated with fans worldwide, ending its box office run at $ 1.35 billion.
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At this year’s Oscars, the superhero pic has nabbed 7 nominations, including Best Production Design, Best Costume Design, Best Original Score, Best Original Song, Best Sound Editing, Mixing and the pivotal Best Picture one. While the film has a long shot of becoming the first superhero film to win Best Picture, the film really does deserve wins for Production Design, Costume Design and Score and could possibly win a few awards.
The movie centers on Prince T’Challa who after the death of his father must become the new ruler of Wakanda, a futuristic country in the depths of Africa who hides behind the facade of a poor country to protect its nationalist interests. The film starred Chadwick Boseman, Lupita Nyong’o, Michael B. Jordan, Danai Gurira, Winston Duke, Martin Freeman, Angela Basset, Letitia Wright, Forest Whittaker, and Andy Serkis.
Black Panther is arguably one of the best Marvel movies ever made; the film not only brings to life a whole new world in the form of Wakanda but also tackles hot button current affairs such as nationalism and racism. Furthermore, the film became a cultural milestone due to its emphasis on African culture and since its release, has become a cultural phenomenon inside the US.
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Ryan Coogler did a magnificent job of bringing the comic book characters to life. His take on the sensitive, strong-headed, and charming superhero T’Challa/Black Panther and protector of his country is brilliant. Equally well written and perhaps more compelling is his cousin Killmonger, played by Michael B. Jordan in his best role to date, who challenges T’Challa for the throne and ends up shaking T’Challa’s life up in ways he couldn’t have predicted.
The ladies in Black Panther are equally commendable, whether it’s the elegant Angela Basset or the fierce Danai Gurira, Wakandan women truly established their supremacy in the MCU. Lupita Nyong’O’s Nakia and Wright’s Shuri were also standouts and a spin-off on their characters with Gurrira’s Okoye would be amazing. The film also has some great action scenes and a score that is a stroke of genius in how it combines modern music with tribal African music. Overall, Black Panther is one of the best superhero films in recent times.
Usama Masood Ahmad is an entertainment writer and research analyst at Global Village Space. The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect Global Village Space’s editorial policy.