New Stories

Bada** Female Double Feature: “The Woman King” and “Pearl”

by: Sone Ekukole-Sone

Photo Courtesy of Metacritic

“The Women King”

“The Woman King” stormed into theaters with Viola Davis leading an army of fierce female warriors who were also known as the Agojie. “The Woman King” takes a story from history that most people aren’t familiar with and creates a powerful war story for audiences to enjoy.

“The Woman King” was released in theaters on Sept. 16 and it received a 95% on Rotten Tomatoes and an outstanding A+ CinemaScore.

“The Woman King” focuses on an all-female warrior group and is set in the 1800s in the African Kingdom of Dahomey. The central conflict stems from the Dahomey kingdom’s battle with a foreign enemy, who wants to enslave their people.

Viola Davis plays General Nansica, the leader of the Aogjie, and she begins to train a new generation of warriors. Viola encounters Nawi, a stubborn pupil, who came to join the Agojie after refusing to be put in an arranged marriage. The conflict these two characters have with each other and themselves propels the story.

“The Woman King” works because of how the narrative was constructed. In the media, when it comes to stories set in Africa, a lot of them feature a war-torn country or images of

starving children. “Black Panther” is one of the few exceptions that come to my mind, but that movie was a bit of a stretch in depicting life in an African nation.

“The Woman King” strays away from the stereotypes of Africa and the creators decided to tell a fresh tale, using history as the format for their project. This film showed the beauty of Africa along with educating audiences on the culture of Dahomey.

“The Woman King” is filled with action scenes, witty dialogue, profound themes, and amazing character development throughout its entire runtime.

In my opinion, there’s not enough originality in Hollywood these days and films like “The Woman King” give me hope as a film nerd that there are artists out there who want to tell new stories.If you’re tired of going to theaters to see sequels or remakes, then “The Woman King” is the perfect movie for you to watch.

Photo Courtesy of IMDB

“Pearl”

Mia Goth came crashing into theaters with her new film, “Pearl.” “Pearl” is the prequel to “X,” an A24 horror movie that came out earlier this year. Both of these were filmed back to back and it was announced recently that there would be a third installment, which is titled, “MAXXINE.”

“Pearl” was released on Sept. 16 and received positive reviews. Martin Scorscese noted how much the film terrified him. Mia Goth and Ti West wrote “Pearl,” with Goth playing the lead role and West taking on the director mantle to create this frightening masterpiece.

The film tells the story of a young, ambitious girl named Pearl, who desperately wants to escape her mundane life on the farm and achieve fame and fortune as an entertainer. It sounds like a basic premise, but the movie provides a great example of a well-written character driven story.

Most horror movies bank on jump scares and gory special effects to hold the audience’s attention. Ti West utilized the small budget he had and shifted the focus of the horror onto the character rather than the physical elements in the film.

Ti West wrote a unique character and placed her in situations where she was the main source of terror. Mia Goth channeled her inner psychopath for this role and there are certain scenes where I was questioning if Pearl was a real human.

Unlike a majority of slasher films, “Pearl” didn’t pick up a sharp weapon and start shanking people for fun. There was a build-up to her insanity in key scenes where she has

character-defining moments. These experiences shaped her into the monster she became by the end of the movie.

“Pearl” was willing to do anything to chase her dreams and this is a great example of how far a person will go to make their dreams come true.“Pearl” had one of those unforgettable endings and if you’re a horror fanatic, this is the perfect movie for you to watch during the spooky season.

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