Review | The Woman King surprises – “African Braveheart” is one of the best action movies of the year

Inspired by true history, The Woman King is like an African Braveheart. Viola Davis plays one of the coolest roles of her career as a tough warrior general in an action film directed handsomely by Gina Prince-Bythewood.

The Woman KingPremiere: 25 November 2022
Original title: The Woman King
Directed by: Gina Prince-Bythewood
Screenplay: Dana Stevens
Starring: Viola Davis, Thuso Mbedu, Lashana Lynch, John Boyega & Sheila Atim
Length: 135 minutes
Age limit: K16

The Woman King -film has a lot of stylistic similarities to the big Marvel adventure of the fall: it is an adventure set in Africa, where a warband consisting of fiercely effective female warriors protects their country. The similar atmosphere was emphasized when the press screenings of both films happened to be only a couple of days apart from each other.

Gina Prince-Bythewoodin directed by and Dana Stevensin scripted The Woman King is, however Black Panther: Wakanda Foreveria a much more fascinating film. This lacks superpowers and technological superiority. The Woman King is like an African Bravehearta great-looking, believably grounded and therefore realistic-feeling war and adventure film with connections to real history.

The Woman King takes place in the rich and influential Kingdom of Dahomey, which was located in West Africa in the region of present-day Benin from the 17th century to the turn of the 20th century. Dahomey was especially known for its female warriors, the Agojis, or Amazons of Dahomey.

Viola Davis

In the movie The Woman King, which was already released in the United States in early autumn, the crowd of agogs is led by Viola Davis played by General Nanisca, who trains new girls to defend their country. As the most central characters, we will be seen together Help Mbedun played by the young Nawi, who, due to his temperament, is not suitable as a spouse for any man in his father’s opinion, Lashana Lynch presented by Izogie as well as Sheila Atimin presented by Amenza.

The warband gets into real action when the kingdom of Dahomey is threatened by the slave trade to western countries, the soldiers of the Oyo Empire.

The Woman King is one of those movies that pleasantly surprises. The story has a believable weight, there is no filler that seems unnecessary, and it also holds together perfectly. Among other things The Old Guard Prince-Bythewood, well-known as the director of the action film, keeps the whole thing nicely under control by deepening in just the right places and trimming away the excess fluff.

The Woman King

The story, which is loosely tied to history, is told in a way that makes its viewers believe in the story’s characters. They seem like genuine, real people who live and fight for what they believe in. The warlike and stylish action is spiced up with down-to-earth and honest-feeling humor and the warmth generated by mutual friendship.

Crafty and with details thought through to every drawing, The Woman King also looks good. The result is a full-blooded, very impressive action film, which is emphasized when the camera accompanies the viewer in the midst of bloody battle and death. This is far from fantasy-like play: the swords have weight, the muscles have believable strength, and the step is not at all as nimble as Legolas’.

In the film, Viola Davis plays perhaps the coolest role of her career as a character traditionally played by male actors of the same age group. Oscar-winning Davis is used to being seen as a performer of more dramatic roles, but when the straight-backed, sinewy muscular Nanisca, proudly looking at her opponent, steps into the picture, there is no room for doubt: here is a warrior so believable that the branches will disappear.

The Woman King

Nanisca, played by Davis, is a fictional character created for the film, but for example John Boyegan presented by King Ghezo really ruled the Kingdom of Dahomey in the first half of the 19th century. Although the film tries to claim that, during his reign the slave trade to Western countries was not abolished.

Nawi, performed by Thuso Mbedu, has meanwhile been named from the last agojiewho died in 1979 at the age of over a hundred years.



“The more realistic equivalent of Black Panther: Wakanda Forever is an adventure loosely based on real history about a group of warriors led by a general played impressively by Viola Davis.”

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