In the past, you couldn’t compare blockbusters like Bollywood vs Hollywood. Obviously, Hollywood had better resources, their economy bloomed over two world wars, most importantly, Hollywood had a better exposure than any other film industry. So it’s safe to say blockbusters are an invention of Hollywood. But good movies can come from anywhere. Because good movies don’t need the glamour or fame like Blockbusters. Movies like ROMA, The Intouchables, City of God, Aakalirajyam may not have better recognition, but these are unquestionable classics. That’s the beauty of a really good movie. It doesn’t need numbers to justify it. You’d know when you watch it. This isn’t the case with a Blockbuster. Because a Blockbuster comes with prejudice, star cast and big numbers that should awe you. A Blockbuster is better rated by the ratio between its entertainment ability and its success and when we’re speaking about blockbusters, there’s a little wiggle room for reasoning and logic. It’s like when we watch any Bollywood Khan’s movie. We know it isn’t the best movie out there, but we are most entertained by it. That’s a blockbuster.
How do you rate a movie? Different factors come into play depending on whom you’ve asked this question. For me, the factors are reasoning, logic and success. I rate a movie on how the story convinced me with its storytelling. It shouldn’t leave me with any questions. I should be happy that I saw that film, spent my time with it. Simple stories with complicated characters. That’s my poison!
Black Panther is not that great a movie in 2018 and definitely not good enough to make 1 billion dollars whereas masterpiece like “Isle Of Dogs” had a much smaller piece of the box office pie. But I’m not berating it because I understand the reality to it. Marvel has much deeper pockets and a wider range of audience than Wes Anderson could ever achieve. So, at the core, after stripping away it’s entitlements, Black Panther is just another movie that is released at the right time and place from the right producer, nay, perfect producer… Disney’s Marvel. Cop shootings (even when the President was Obama), the war on drugs, fewer opportunities, crippled educational system, the seemingly incurable racism… These are the everyday hurdles that are faced by the African-American Community in the USA for the last 30 years (it was worse before). And last few years, these hurdles became widely known to all because of smartphones. Eventually, a movie like Black Panther was bound to happen. People were waiting for a movie that empowers the African-American community while being entertaining and Black Panther absolutely looted the situation for its advantage.
Why Black Panther is Overrated?
It is not a ridiculous claim when I say that Black Panther was the most aggressively promoted movie of all time in the African-American community. Big shots like Kendrick Lamar, Weeknd, SZA etc.. have lent their voices to the movie pushing it to their audience in millions. The stage was set and when the Black Panther came out sticking to a safe story with a great cast, it was too good to resist. Black Panther doesn’t have the best CGI, didn’t needed any plot twists, predictable as hell but still scored the holy Billion. It was an okay story with a plot of ‘Prince overcame his hurdles and became the King’. It had the same old Father’s death, Son’s grief/guilt, responsibility for the people as the King, evil villain who wasn’t that evil, to begin with, exiled after the first fight and a ‘surprise’ return from the dead moment. It’s the same formula passed on from Greek Mythology to Macbeth to Godfather to Lion King to Thor.
That’s like a really old recipe that people may think it’s getting better with age while in truth, it’s just getting old. In layman terms, Black Panther was a Hollywood’s Baahubali. There were better entertaining, better empowering movies in 2018 like ‘BlacKkKlansman’ and ‘Sorry to Bother You’ which are undoubtedly better in all regards. But we’re living in a denial world where Oscars are only awarded to Black actors with class like Mahershala Ali, Denzel Washington while charismatic actors like Sam L Jackson, Jamie Foxx are left empty-handed. It’s changing though, faster than ever and for better.
So, in conclusion, Black Panther is the movie that African-American community needed and in a ‘when it rains, it pours’ kinda way, it was flocked by millions, praised by the thousands when released at the height of the hashtag period of ‘#BlackLivesMatter’. All giving it the perfect boost that earned it the title of ‘The Most Overrated Movie in the Marvel Cinematic Universe’ in my opinion.