The Woman King (2022): Movie Review
Plot: Her reign begins.
The story of the Agojie, the all-female unit of warriors who protected the African Kingdom of Dahomey in the 1800s with skills and a fierceness unlike anything the world has ever seen, and General Nanisca as she trains the next generation of recruits and readies them for battle against an enemy determined to destroy their way of life.
Review: A group of men are seen lounging in the middle of a field by a bonfire as the movie opens with style.
The sound of rustling in the long grass is accompanied by the sight of a flock of birds flying off on a breeze. Unexpectedly a machete-wielding Agojie general named Nanisca suddenly materializes out of the grass.
She is subsequently followed by an entire platoon. The guys are then slaughtered in a fit of frenzied gore as part of the warrior group's quest to release their captive relatives.
But as a result of the high number of casualties, Nanisca chooses to train a fresh group of recruits.
In a different scene, Nawi, a rebellious teen, is presented as a gift to the young King Ghezo by her overbearing father, who is annoyed by his stubborn daughter's refusal to wed any of her many suitors.
Izogie, a fearless yet jovial warrior, recognizes Nawi's resistance as a strength and recruits her for Nanisca's training, so Nawi never makes it to the King.
Freedom is promised to everyone who joins the Agojie, but not to those they subjugate.
The Oyo Empire, a tyrannical empire, receives the defeated as tribute and trades them for weapons by selling their fellow Africans as slaves to the Europeans. The guilty Nanisca begs the King to intervene to halt the cycle of tyranny.
Meanwhile, Nanisca is troubled by a dream, as does the recalcitrant Nawa, who finds it difficult to adhere to the Agojie clan's stringent rules, especially the "No Men" clause. It may hold the solution to her problems.
HITS: The filmmaking is superb. The makeup and costume design are lavish and intricate, drawing attention to the warrior women's bodies and showcasing both their physical beauty and martial prowess.
Release date: Sep 16, 20022 (United States)
Genre: Action, Drama, History
Stars: Viola Davis, Thuso Mbedu, Lashana Lynch, John Boyega, Sheila Atim
Director: Gina Prince-Bythewood
Writer: Dana Stevens and Maria Bello