The Wonder of Wakanda
Without question I have enjoyed the fan fever that has spread from The Black Panther. The boost, for people of color in particular, from this movie is the best. I want to be included in the excitement and add my thoughts on why I believe it is one of the best movies that I have seen. I'm ready to see it again. I also want to share why I believe the real marvel of Wakanda is Ryan Coogler, director extraordinaire.
The marvel of the way Ryan Coogler told the story of the Black Panther was how all aspects of the film came together. It seemed as though everyone brought their A-game to the project. It is not everyday that everything and I mean everything in a movie works. A check of Rotten Tomatoes scores will validate that. It is one thing to have a good story. The challenge is to bring it to film and have the story grab the audience. That is the elusive magic of filmmaking. Consider The Black Panther, script on point, casting on point, costumes on point, special effects on point, camera work on point, set design on point, graphics on point, fight sequences on point, music on point, hair and makeup on point, actors on point, the sisters sho nuff on point. There was so much on pointness, I’ll bet the catering truck was on point too. I do not know about you but getting my vision across on home videos is challenging enough. What Ryan Coogler did was both excellent and amazing.
The takeaway that I shared with my son is that Ryan Coogler had an idea for a film and he did not give up on it. I shared with him the backstory of Ryan Coogler’s pursuit to make Creed a movie. The story for Creed came to Cooglar when he was a college student and his father took ill. You can read more about that here. He was thinking about the relationships between fathers and sons. When Ryan Coogler got the idea the consensus was that Sylvester Stallone was finished with the story of Rocky. Ryan Coogler would need Stallone’s consent to make his film. I do not need to know the insider details to know that Mr. Coogler had to push past naysayers who told him it would never happen. Read more about getting Creed made here. Through connections, Stallone eventually met with Ryan Coogler. Stallone was not receptive to the idea. Coogler thought to himself as least I got a photo with Stallone, which he knew his dad would love. Cooglar did not give up, he kept the conversation with Stallone going and he continued to work on his craft. In 2013, when Cooglar’s film, Fruitvale Station was released, Stallone saw the film and his reluctance softened to a maybe. It should be noted that reprising Rocky Balboa in Creed earned Stallone an Academy Award and Golden Globe nomination for Best Supporting Actor. He won the Golden Globe, the only one of his career to date.
The lesson that resonates in my spirit is the power of pushing through. As I watched the movie, more than once I thought what if Cooglar had walked away from pursuing Creed. How could he have known, when he was trying to convince Sylvester Stallone, that a movie deal with Marvel for the Avengers' Black Panther would be the fruit of his effort. As much as we enjoyed the movie Black Panther, imagine if Cooglar had given up and not pushed through in bringing Creed to film. I share this because when God places something in your spirit, pursue it in faith knowing that He who began a good work in you will carry it on unto completion until the day of Christ Jesus. The results are not for us to figure out, God has already done that. Our job is to keep the ball in play, commit our work to God and let Him do the rest. And on that point, I’m a witness that God will do exceedingly more than we can ask or imagine according to the Power that works in us.