Well, we have reached the final instalment for this MCU entry. ‘Black Panther’ is a truly amazing film showcasing the talents of many and is one that tells an incredible story. So, in ending this trilogy of blogs, it would only be right to show the protagonist and antagonist of the film. Whilst one is fighting to protect Wakanda, the other is fighting to get Wakanda.
I think by this point in the film, we suspect that there is about to be a mid-point climax; something that is major in turning the events of the story as the film goes on. Placed very central to the story, this is the first time we see King T’challa and Erik Killmonger come face-to-face and it’s safe to say that this is one of the most important parts of the film. For the first time of meeting, it’s already intense, indicating at some form of predisposition between these characters. It is explained exactly what happened in the past that causes this tension. I imagine that by now, everyone has seen this film and knows that we see something truly shocking although not too far away from anything we are used to. I remember seeing their battle for the first time and it was amazing, seeming far different from anything we had seen before in the MCU and was bound to impress movie fanatics, but this emotional battle between the two is a far more interesting conflict.
Of all the film stills that we have reviewed in this trilogy, this one positions itself on top. Now, I could sit here and say that it simply encapsulates the entire plot for the movie, two diverse characters with reference to morals and view, fighting to retain and/or obtain the African country of Wakanda. Yet, it’s more than that. It captures the emotion, the story and the fight well.
I see the point and somewhat agree with what Millie is saying in this part, however, what I see is a still of two people and either could be the antagonist. If we had never seen this film and this was the only image we were given to see, it could go two ways. Based solely off of the clothes, it is hard to distinguish who is in the right from this still alone. One dressed in battle armour, ready for confrontation whilst the other wears a rich robe of royal colour. The only indication we get is the silver thread on T’challa’s robe, possibly hinting at the silver lining type of ideology that could be presented in the film. Ultimately, with both dressed in dark coloured clothes, we find it difficult to single out if there is a clear hero to this film. Not having a clear hero really shows that there is right and wrong to both of their pasts, some yet to be uncovered and parts that will have influenced them to where they are in this very moment of the film; leaving the audience to decide who they wish to support but both are equal in this moment with them fighting for the same thing, again something showed their clothing.
The colours are another striking aspect of the still. Colour psychology is great, and it really helps underpin the associations that we as viewers can form from simply looking and colour within a specific setting. Chadwick Boseman sports a deep purple, almost waistcoat piece of attire with silver embroidery. Purple has been noted to demonstrate inspiration, intuition, the coupling of wisdom and power, alongside hinting at a subtle element of luxury. Taking these psychological associations and placing them next to the black sleeves under the waistcoat, it radiates authority.
The antagonist, Michael. B Jordan sports an opposing set of colours, mostly metallic. Colour psychology notes that grey usually is used in alongside other colours but can be used to demonstrate a sense of composure and communicate maturity. But, psychology aside, metallic grey suggests strength. The antagonist is wearing armour, the armour of a warrior ready to fight. I think that the outfits radiate the morals and intentions of the two conflicting characters. Lastly, the guards in the background sport red. Red screams power, dominance and essentially what you would want your army to be.
Lens blur. Now. I have independently noted on several blogs of my love for lens blur as an editing feature and tool. Lens blur is a credit to the shot and only helps build on the tension that the characters are displaying. Now, we see several guards of Wakanda stood behind in the backshot. Imagine if these were fully visible – the still wouldn’t as near be as powerful and emotional as it is. This shows the power that lens blur can have on an image, and I love that it was a feature of this. It must be noted that some cameras naturally can add lens blur to an image, if two subjects or even one subject is in focus and there is background noise, depending on where the lens is focuses, whatever noise of around it will subsequently blur.
As Millie has said about the use of lens blur, it focuses on the subject at hand and that is the tension between Killmonger and T’challa. What we see is solely the two of them trapped in their headspace and ego. By this, I mean the incredibly strong personalities and emotions that are being displayed by both, and how they position themselves in the greater picture as the movie goes on. Blurring out the background allows the audience to focus entirely on these, a perfect element of direction from the production team. I love how in this scene we are being drawn into their conflict, and the overpowering emotions of both, where one is challenging for the throne and the other accepts the challenge – even with advice not to – I just love it. It makes the viewer feel as if they are being drawn into the battle too.
The emotion that pours from this still is very much an amazing quality that is captured through this still. We can look at this from two angles. One being that the emotion is a sincere credit to the talents of Michael. B Jordan and Chadwick Boseman. Second, positioning the camera close up adds an intimate and almost intrusive feel where the emotion is fully captured. In looking at this. It is sequential, without the talents of the actors, it doesn’t matter how close the camera got or how good the camera placement was. You couldn’t achieve one without the other.
I think, as we are at the end of this series, that we must credit everyone who has been involved in this and how we can’t wait for ‘Black Panther 2’ (and even more so for the title reveal). Director Ryan Coogler did an absolutely incredible job on this and with no doubts, this is one of the most important films ever made. The emotion felt and displayed by the actors is enough to tell a story by itself, without all of the story that we have and the mind-blowing visuals. This, for many reasons, is one of the best films I have seen, and it’s nothing to do with the acting. The story, the emotion, the visual representations (some of which we have explored in this trilogy) all paint the perfect picture of the image that was trying to be conveyed. What will be next for Wakanda? I can’t compliment this film enough; it is beautifully put together. This film is a certified masterpiece.