GAL APPROVED! Black Panther: Wakanda Forever Remembers Chadwick Boseman. Prime Video’s The English Honors America’s First PeopleBy Maureen Martin & Delaina Dixon | November 11, 2022 | Entertainment, Gal Approved
Wakanda Forever Is In Our Hearts
We are all dealing with the real-time loss of our beloved Chadwick Boseman, who as King T’Challa was bringing us all a new Black superhero we desperately needed. As a woman who grew up among dignified African men and women, he absolutely nailed it. Fast-forward to our broken hearts, and a deep desire to resume our love and loyalty to the franchise with Black Panther: Wakanda Forever. We join the story in the wake of the sudden loss of the charismatic leader. Thank you Ryan Coogler and Marvel for honoring Boseman in obvious ways that were touching and honest. T’Challa’s mother, Queen Ramonda (Angela Bassett), has assumed the throne. Shuri (Letitia Wright) also assumes responsibilities while stifling her grief. The outside world lustfully seeks to gain access to Wakanda’s vibranium, that glowing mineral with properties that would give any nation military superiority.
It’s a trifecta protecting Wakanda now: Ramonda’s regal stature and diplomatic skills; the military leadership of the Jabari with leader M’Baku (Winston Duke) and the Dora Milaje’s Okoye (Danai Gurira). But a new threat has arrived from an unlikely source, the underwater aquatic nation of Talokan, which also has the mysterious vibranium, dang!
Adding to this complex mix is brilliant M.I.T. student Riri Williams (Dominique Thorne) who has invented a vibranium-detecting machine; Okoye’snew bestie Aneka in the form of Chewing Gum star Michaela Coel, who is rocking that bald head like a queen; returning woke C.I.A. ally Everett Ross (Martin Freeman) and the villainous Valentina Allegra de Fontaine (Julia Louis-Dreyfus) are there too. But we’ve said way too much.
Enjoy the special effects, fistfights, car chases, underwater and midair fight sequences, Tony Stark-like high-tech suits, explosions, floods–you get the picture. It’s quite a ride. Some things are predictable, but altogether it’s a really good time. Seeing the cast is like reuniting with old friends. My advice? Ignore the reviews of the “colonizers” who don’t “get us.” This is about us and for us. Buy some popcorn, sink into a comfy seat and enjoy!
The English on Prime Video
With a title like The English, you may not expect this new Prime Video to explore life in the wild, wild west in the late 1800s. But indeed, it does. The story revolves around Eli Whipp (Chaske Spencer), a decorated Native American veteran from the Pawnee Nation, and Cornelia Locke (Emily Blunt), an English woman seeking revenge on the person who killed her son. These unlikely allies meet under the most unfortunate of circumstances, but their innate humanity actually saves each other’s lives. Joined on a journey across the plains, they find themselves fighting harsh conditions and evil souls, which only brings them closer together. Beautifully shot, with Blunt’s gorgeous wardrobe that needs to be in our closets, the series explores the unkindness that indigenous Americans and women faced daily then (a parallel to the injustices still faced now, we wonder).
“Production gave me a lot about the Pawnee nation to give a good map to the character,” Spencer shared at a VIP screening of the series In New York City. “Eli doesn’t have too much dialogue, and I like that. It’s fun to play silence because I think, sometimes, you can convey more.”
The series also stars Kimberly Guerrero, a pioneer for the Native American acting community, who spoke about working with allies like Blunt and series creator Hugo Blick to bring forth stories that don’t exploit the American Indigenous people’s experience but examine and uplift it.
The English, now streaming on Prime Video.
photo credit: Marvel/Disney; Prime Video