The Wax Conspiracy

Black Panther

Deep in the mirage of anti-colonialism and the politics of a sovereign nation coming to light is the tale of a start-up company looking to go public.

Taking a cue from looking away from another "the whole world is ending" chore comes Black Panther and its introspective look upon a culture untarnished by the smeared thumbprints of the whites. A tale told on the surface of an internal struggle and looking first at the borders of immigration and whether or not to help those outside the walls.

A parallel not too far from the likes of what goes on when a small company develops upon itself to be a self-sustaining and profitable entity. One that then questions if it can or should go public, with outside shareholders influencing by mere presence and later with undue chorus calls with directions for profit at the expense of all else. It is not an easy path to question one's own integrity or strength of resolve in the face of stepping outside and seeing if people like what they never knew really existed.

T'Challa (Chadwick Boseman) wears heavy the burden of leading a nation through a time of upheaval between a changing of leadership and facing a vocal minority from its ranks looking to bleed out and take back what once was sown in their blood. Mirrors upon mirrors as the nation's internal conflict carries along with T'Challa's after revelations brought to present day. It is after all a coming of age story that takes a lot of doubt and questions to find the right path.

Outside the bare-chested waterfall, fight scenes end up looking like rubber puppets, dangling of sinew and flexing more than joints would really allow. At times it is a mess of backstabbing that internal company conflicts always devolve into as the last one standing is the winner of whatever carcass rolls through the elevator doors. Whether they fight for the company's vision or its culture, it's hard to tell if there is a difference and which side ultimately needs to be victorious.

One kinetic battle happens among the gambling chips. The camera swivels and flows through the action as it floats into the upper level before crashing down over the tables on the floor. It's a dance of chaos that takes the notion of tracking and builds upon it with a chunk of debris out the left side.

The Dora Milaje take flesh from the pages of that Priest run back in the day and showcase a powerful class of bodyguards and warriors led by Okoye (Danai Gurira). The tech flourishing under the leadership of T'Challa's sister, Shuri (Letitcia Wright) is a thing of wonder with all those gadgets sure to put Tony Stark's tinkering to shame. This is the film playing its sleight of hand in talking about diversity in tech and leadership. You can't have all white males all the time and think that's the only way to move ahead in culture, society or whatever else constructs choke us down at night.

Black Panther is a rich, colourful and entertaining film. An exploration full of heart-shaped herbs of what-ifs taken to a logical degree where the question then comes back to what-now?

Ethan Switch

Reviewed on Tuesday, 6 March 2018

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