Okoye is a brave no-nonsense athletic warrior fiercely loyal to the African Kingdom of Wakanda. Her character is as firm and deep as the blackness of her ebony skin. She is easily my favorite in the whole cast. If the guys who made the movie understood any Hausa, she should have been the one named Nakiya – she’s da bomb. Why did they even give her a man’s name? Why not the feminine equivalent Mgboye? Can’t a woman be a brave warrior and still remain a woman? Okay, I’m getting ahead of myself.
How did I get into this most unusual circumstance of going to the movie theatre to watch a movie? Impelled by the ubiquitous hype, I found myself, after a hard day’s job, on my way to Ceddi Plaza. Next screening was starting at 9 o’clock. It was just 8:25. I was tired and it was nearing my bedtime – usually by 10:00, I am far gone. Would I be able to stay awake between 9 and 11? I looked around for coffee. None available. Ah. I looked around – all the people were much younger. And more energetic. Chai, what had I got myself into? With all the noise in the background, what if my wifey calls from across the Savannah now to say Goodnight and I love you? Maybe I should go home now? But I had already bought the ticket. I opened Amazon Kindle and started reading the Travels of Mungo Park in the Interior of Africa while I waited. The Scottish adventurer was even a doctor sef. Instead of attending to his patients back home, he went to discover a river that had been known to our forefathers forever. A river that had even been in the Yoruba pantheon as Oya, the consort of Sango, since only-God-knows-when.
Me, I am not a movie-goer. I am not even a movie person. I’d rather read a book any day. Ok, I sometimes watch movies on Netflix – and even that I hadn’t done in a while.
Then it was time and we queued up to enter. People bought popcorn – I refused. Who started the popcorn tradition ma sef? Is it a must? As we sat through the initial commercials, the fatigue and sleep dropped on me like a heavy blanket. The last time I went to the movie theatre to watch a raving new movie was in 2005 and I slept for 33.245% of the time. It was The War of the Worlds at Wood Green in North London. Yes, it was accompanied by popcorn. I later bought and read the book – the real McCoy.
The first intense fight scene with the HD loud boom of guns and clashing of swords finally blasted out the sleep for the rest of the night. I enjoyed the spectacle. Like a child. The dialogue was not exceptional in any way. It was not even remarkable. But I let out a laugh three times. I heard people crunching their guguru in the relatively soundless intervals. The ends of the armrests expanded into wells for entrenching cups of guguru. This popcorn business, ehn.
My favorite scene:
People of all skin colour from yellow through brown to the most intense Sudanese black standing on pedestals on the faces of iridescent cliffs washed by the sparkling falling waters of a mighty river, bedecked in a panoply of the most colorful costumes signifying cultures from the lower fringes of the Sahara Desert to the Cape, and watching the heart-stopping duel between the would-be king and his challenger. Cheering, jeering, clapping. It was the most incredible scene in the movie. It still flickers in my mind.
I don’t care for those futuristic sci-fi fight scenes and car stunts.
Spectacular, the movie certainly is. But there is something imperfect about it, something extravagant, something artificial, something superficial, that makes me hesitant to simply say Beautiful.
I will not say anything about the plot – I am not a spoiler.
Ehen, I even heard that the film is based on a book. The book is likely to be a potboiler, unliterary. Unreadable. Meaning: I am not likely to read it.
Overall, it’s a feel-good movie for black people. It opens a vista to a world where Africans are the technological, cultural and intellectual equals of the West. It presents possibilities. We can soar and touch the sky.