Reviews

Movie Title: The Woman King
Director: Gina Prince-Blythewood
Cast: Viola Davis, Lashanna Lynch, Thuso Mbedu
Run Time: 2h15m
Year: 2022
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I, for one, am going to watch this again and perhaps even a third time. A powerful movie, a commentary on black female empowerment, inspired by true events and a absolutely Oscar-worthy cast.

The movie is directed by Gina Prince-Blythewood and she has dealt with this theme deftly. The movie starts with an intense fight scene – and when we say intense we mean “super violent”. The violence doesn’t feel gory though but it is mostly hand to hand combat so there are swords and javelins and one character uses sharp nails to gouge out eyes. So you do have your fights scenes but you also have the palace intrigues, the glorious dances and festivals and an intimate story line.

The story is based on the Agojie, a all-female army in the Kingdom of Dahomey. The kingdom has a new , more progressive king and although the kingdom has grown richer because of the slave trade (trigger warning - upsetting scenes), he is now persuaded by his General, General Nanisca (Viola Davis) to stop selling their people to the Europeans.

In the meantime a young rebellious orphan – Nawi- is dumped at the palace by her father and joins the guard. Her character arc involves being mentored by Izogie (Lashana Lynch) and developing into a disciplined and talented warrior.

It's PG 13 and possibly should be 15+. There are rape scenes and very intense violence so please don’t take your kids.

No more can be said without spoilers but you will cry, you will laugh, you will want to watch it again.

The movie has throwback vibes to Pocahontas and Top Gun! It is not a Marvel movie and although the sets are superb there aren’t as flush as a Marvel movie set would be. That doesn’t take away from the movie though in any way and it has been widely praised as heralding a shift in Hollywood back to the days of Gladiator and Braveheart where battles felt real and CGI was, if present, very understated.


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