The Woman King (2022)

The Woman King (2022)

Movie Details

Movie: The Woman King (2022)
Director: Gina Prince-Bythewood
Cast: Viola Davis, Thuso Mbedu, and Lashana Lynch
Genres: Action/Adventure
Release date: 16 September 2022
IMDB Rating: 6.9/10
Language: English, Hindi, Tamil, and Telugu
Duration: 2h 15m


The Woman King (2022)


The Woman King was talked about long before its premiere, and there were quite a few reasons for that. In it, we were supposed to look at Africa in the territory of today’s Benin, i.e. to an area and a time that we don’t often see on the movie screen. That was quite tempting. As well as the participation of Oscar-winner Viola Davis, who is slowly reaching her 60s, but has charisma to give away, and in the first photos, she looked like someone who you would believe is the head of an elite unit of female fighters. But then we had Gina Prince-Bythewood, who made the repulsive comic book The Old Guard. So it was about fifty-fifty with the excitement. Well, it turned out well in the end. Although it’s more about winning on points than anything else.

The Kingdom of Dahomey in West Africa is fighting for its existence. The neighboring empires are grinding their teeth on him, and American slave traders are also waiting for their opportunity. However, the local young king has a weapon that makes all his opponents rightly nervous. A unit of female warriors commanded by the experienced general Nanisca. Now she must protect her country and also train a new generation of female warriors. The enemy is getting stronger.

A warrior can make a very good first impression. The budget of fifty million dollars is not one of the biggest, but Gina Prince-Bythewood was able to squeeze it to the maximum. The African backdrops are still exotic enough, and there is enough time and space for the film to show how it was in the kingdom, deal with the relationship between the monarch, his subjects, and wives, peek into the fortress of the warriors, and simply enjoy the architecture. And enjoy the fact that the director decided to “have a good time” and maybe bend the historical fact a little so that the Warrior Girl looks good. And yes, she is nice to look at

In addition – and this is even more pleasant – it runs quickly and does not get boring, because space is given to many more characters than just Nanisca. In the end, we have about six heroines, each of whom manages to impress even in a small space with a more personal story, trauma, or dream that they have to fight for. As a result, these are not exactly complex characters, and it quickly becomes clear that Lashana Lynch is a cool mentor, Viola Davis is a frowning tough girl with trauma, and each of the three young adepts in the warrior profession is driven forward by something different. But they all get a simple but functional story arc that leads to something. And they usually reach their destination with dignity.

However, Prince-Bythewood surprises mainly in action. It’s not as much as the trailers suggest, and compared to her previous and not very successful directorial attempt, it’s significantly better. It is clearer, more effective, and above all, it can rely on the heroines, who are women, but you would believe that most of them can knock down a hundred-kilogram opponent. To sum it up – The Woman King is a nice historical adventure that does not bore you, is skilfully filmed, and can easily entertain you for two and a quarter hours. The problem is that this was not enough for the creators.

Even before filming began, it was evident that The Woman King wanted to be a film that “had something to say.” There is nothing wrong with that, of course. Timeless topics such as racism, the position of women in a society ruled by men, but also the traumas that men have caused to women in the past are addressed here. Unfortunately, The Woman King popularly solves all this. All attempts to go in-depth regarding the themes themselves and ultimately the characters themselves very quickly turn into gliding over the surface and a collection of banal phrases.

The Woman King tries to be a big, important, inspirational piece with something to say in several scenes. I’m not saying he doesn’t, but unfortunately, he says it in a way that attacks the first signal too much and doesn’t hit the mark the creators would have wanted. If you go into it knowing that you will get a nice action drama from a very attractive and unremarkable setting with good battles and likable actors, you will be satisfied. However, any babbling about the Oscars (if I leave aside, for example, the costumes) is absurd. The only really special thing about The Warrior is that it takes place in a time and place that Hollywood doesn’t venture into very often. However, this alone is not enough for an exceptional film. Fortunately, for decent entertainment,

I understand that The Woman King is very tempting material for the creators of demented jokes, who filter the island in Internet discussions with comments about the new Planet of the Apes, google the image of the poster for the film biography of Barack Obama starring Ryan Gosling and laugh hysterically to his sense of humor.

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