January 31, 2023 Breaking News, Latest News, and Videos

Film Review: “The Woman King”

FILM REVIEW
THE WOMAN. KING
Rated PG-13
135 Minutes

The Woman King is a drama and a superb action film based on the story of the Agojie, a highly skilled battalion of woman warriors, who protected the West African kingdom of Dahomey. That country did  exist from about 1600 to 1904, although the story does not pretend to be historically accurate in detail. There is no doubt that the intense emotional and physical spectacle is realistic, as is the depiction of the slave trade, which during that time period was an unfortunately lucrative business and kept kingdoms viable. Slave trade in those days was accepted as a part of life, and this movie exposes its horrors.

The story captures the concept, the drama, the fierce desperation and internalized emotions of those involved in the dehumanizing slave trade of the 1700’s – 1800’s. The film captures the fierce superhuman intensity of revolt. Gina Prince-Bythewood, who has performed an incredible feat in directing this movie, said that in researching the Agojie, she found that most of the histories were written by colonizers, and she had to distill their viewpoints to assess what was really happening. She enlisted the help of expert historians in order to portray the women as accurately as possible.

Twitter got in a twist because the film ignores that the governments of Dahomey and Benin traded slaves across the Atlantic during this period / and about the fact that the story was pitched to Viola Davis by Maria Bello, a white actress, and the screenplay was written by Dana Stevens, also a white writer/producer/actress. Bello came up with the idea after she visited Benin in 2015, the country now at the historical location of Dahomey. She learned the history of the Agojie and was in awe. Ethnicity does not come into play when uncovering the truth about heroism and courage. Director Prince-Bythewood and producers made every effort to include people of color in the filmmaking team. In November 2021, cast and crew flew to South Africa for a 5-month shoot.

This was an extremely difficult film to make. The filmmakers and cast navigated the extreme physical demands of the complex action and battle choreography, while expressing the passions and high drama of their characters. The difficult choreography is carried out with intensity and precision, and the cinematography and editing are Oscar-worthy. The movie never loses its rhythm. Viola Davis’s performance is mind-blowing, as are the work of Lashana Lynch and the many brilliant new faces who grace the screen. Many of the young actors are South African, and I’m sure we will see more of them in future films.

I’m guessing that ten years ago no studio or production company would have taken a chance on financing a $50 million movie about black women, shot in Africa. The Woman King is proving to be universally popular. It grossed a surprisingly strong $19.1 million at the box office its first weekend. I believe the great Chadwick Bozeman left us an invaluable legacy with Black Panther. He opened the door to Africa for the world. The Woman King is an important movie that’s not just entertainment. It lays out, front and center, the truth of the brutality that human beings can inflict upon one another in the name of power.

Kathryn Whitney Boole has spent most of her life in the entertainment industry, a backdrop for remarkable adventures with extraordinary people. She is currently a Talent Manager with Studio Talent Group in Santa Monica.

in News
Related Posts

Los Angeles Sees Increase in Kia and Hyundai Thefts Fueled by TikTok

January 31, 2023

January 31, 2023

Social media platforms exacerbate vehicle thefts through security flaws Kia and Hyundai vehicles have become a major target for car...

Phil Brock Appointed to Serve on National League of Cities’ Public Safety and Crime Prevention Committee

January 31, 2023

January 31, 2023

Brock will help shape NLC’s policy positions and advocate for America’s cities, towns and villages before Congress Santa Monica City...

SMMUSD Board Meeting Limited to In-Person Public Comment

January 30, 2023

January 30, 2023

Officials cite technical issues For the upcoming Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District Board of Education meeting, public comment must be...

City Council Approves Plan to Close Santa Monica Airport by 2028

January 30, 2023

January 30, 2023

City will now be able to plan for the airport’s closure following January 24 meeting By Dolores Quintana The Santa...

SMa.r.t Column: Widespread Issues Put Santa Monica in Danger

January 28, 2023

January 28, 2023

Following are 5 issues which, along with homelessness and crime, should take priority over all else in our city’s immediate...

1980s Rustic Canyon Home Hits the Market for $7.5 Million

January 28, 2023

January 28, 2023

Property checks in at over 5,000 square feet featuring five bedrooms By Dolores Quintana A home designed by fine artist...

New Two-Story Commercial Building Proposed for Main Street in Santa Monica

January 28, 2023

January 28, 2023

Project at Marine and Main would replace current parking lot A new two-story commercial building has been proposed for Main...

260-Acre Property Comprising 6% of Bel Air on the Market!

January 27, 2023

January 27, 2023

Last-ditch effort to sell Senderos Canyon spread By Dolores Quintana Bel-Air, one of the most exclusive neighborhoods in the United...

Massive 24,000-Gallon Raw Sewage Leak Closes Local Beaches

January 27, 2023

January 27, 2023

Wednesday leak near Admiralty Way and Palawan Way cause of closures A massive 24,000-gallon raw sewage leak shut down several...

Debris Washed Ashore at Santa Monica Beach

January 27, 2023

January 27, 2023

Debris Washed Ashore at Santa Monica Beach During Last Week’s Storms. @smmirrornews Debris Washed Ashore at Santa Monica Beach During...

Popular Health-Conscious Restaurant Closes Downtown Santa Monica Location

January 26, 2023

January 26, 2023

Flowerchild no longer at 1332 Second Street By Dolores Quintana A popular health-conscious restaurant has shut down its Downtown Santa...

Iconic Roscoe’s Chicken ‘n Waffles Shutters its Pico Location

January 26, 2023

January 26, 2023

LA-based chain to focus on flagship on La Brea and Washington By Dolores Quintana For everyone who loves Roscoe’s Chicken...

Santa Monica Road Rage Incident Results in Shooting and Arrests for Attempted Murder

January 25, 2023

January 25, 2023

Manuel Jaramillo-Heredia and Emilio Reyes were arrested in connection to Tuesday incident By Sam Catanzaro A road rage incident escalated...

Column – A California Positive: Kids Swarm Extra Classes

January 24, 2023

January 24, 2023

By Tom Elias It’s become a cliché, the shibboleth that California has lousy public schools and most of the kids...

New Sourdough Bagel Shop Now Open in Ocean Park

January 24, 2023

January 24, 2023

Layla’s Bagels by chef Sergio Espana (formally from Tartine and Gjusta) has opened a shop on Ocean Park. @smmirrornews New...