The Woman King: Movie Review

The Woman King Movie Review: Manufactured History and Drama

Watch this movie right now:

On action scenes alone, "The Woman King" would have scored high marks. This film was outstanding when it was representing the Agojie and the might of this all-female warrior unit. It will leave you inspired and curious on who these people are. But that curiosity also reveals a sad reality that "The Woman King" is a very loose adaptation of history. It features manufactured drama, manufactured inspiration, and manufactured for awards consideration, 

General Nanisca (Viola Davis) is the leader of the Agojie - an all-female warrior unit that protected the West African kingdom of Dahomey. As she trains the next generation of recruits, a young lady by the name of Nawi (Thuso Mbedu) catches her attention. Soon though, the Europeans and the Oyo Empire who rules West Africa ramp up the slave trade endangering the people of Dahomey. The kingdom's ruler Ghezo (John Boyega) and the Agojie must decide if they're willing to challenge the Europeans and the Oyo to stop the oppression at its heels.

The film's bookends were outstanding but the in-between not so much. "The Woman King" was great when it fully embraced the culture of Dahomey and Agojie but falters narratively as it was obviously dead set designed to win some awards. At first, we thought that this was a historical epic but it became utterly clear that this was a work of heavy fiction and fabrication. Honestly, this was a huge disappointment for us because the film wasn't as effective as we wanted it to be as it was obvious how fake it was at times. But if the film failed narratively, there's no denying that the actors was its strongest asset. Viola Davis could easily win some awards with her performance here but "The Woman King" showed why it matters even with its faults. This was a film that was able to celebrate women empowerment quite well. Yes, these women were warriors but not all the fights they had to contend with happened in the battle field in this film. In our opinion, women's struggles even in a society that respected the Agojie was a nuance we didn't quite anticipate. Overall, "The Woman King" was a good film experience although don't expect believable and historically-accurate material here.

Rating: 3 and half reels

Post a Comment