Title: The Woman King
Cast: Viola Davis, Thuso Mbedu, Lashana Lynch, Sheila Atim, Hero Fiennes Tiffin, and John Boyega
Screenplay By: Dana Stevens
Directed By: Gina Prince-Bythewood
Length: 2 hours 6 minutes
DOWNLOAD & KEEP, JANUARY 30, 2023, BLU-RAY™ & DVD, FEBRUARY 13, 2023. FROM UNIVERSAL PICTURES HOME ENTERTAINMENT.
Set in 1823 and inspired by the true story of an all-female warrior unit - the Agojie, famous for its physical strength and ferocity - protecting their beloved African Kingdom of Dahomey, THE WOMAN KING is the exceptional story of remarkable strength and female power. Anyone who has seen Black Panther will remember the Dora Milaje warriors who were also based on the Agojie.
Viola Davis (Fences, The Help) stars as General Nansica, the formidable leader of the Agojie. When West African leader Oba Ade (Jimmy Odukoya) and Portuguese colonizer Santo Ferreira (Hero Fiennes Tiffin) come to the shores of Dahomey it's up to General Nansica to train the next generation of young fighters to defend their lands or lose their kingdom and freedom forever.
Viola Davis in full dress as General Nanisca lets out a blood curdling battle cry the like of which you have never heard before. Her all-female army rush into battle. They are fearless, and merciless. This is not the sort of crash, smash, bash battles that you've seen in The Avengers - this is women fighting their oppressors, tooth and nail, with spears and machetes, in fierce and bloody hand-to-hand combat - all choreographed to maximise the brutality of battle in glorious and spectacular close up, full colour, high definition, visuals.
Director Gina Prince-Bythewood commands her cast and crew expertly to create not only something that is action-filled and epic, but also something that at least feel historically accurate. It is of course a film of fiction - merely based on real life, but that's not to say that it could not have happened and in fact when you watch the movie so real to life are the events and so convincing is the acting that you'll believe without any doubts that it actually did take place. But as there is no actually real hard facts upon which to base this story the writers and director have no need to let fact get in the way of fiction, so are able to push the boundaries as far as they like - and they do, to spectacular effect.
Lashana Lynch is Izogie, she has a crazy smile on her face every time she goes into battle and she loves violence so much that that even her fingernails are sharpened to be used as weapons if required. John Boyega is excellent as King Ghezo rounding out a fantastic cast.
The Woman King is superbly acted, extremely well directed and keenly choreographed with beautiful cinematography to match. It is an exceptional film that is worthy of all of the awards that it has been winning.
BONUS FEATURES AVAILABLE ON BLU-RAY™*, DVD & DIGITAL**:
- *Blu-ray only
- Feature Audio Commentary with Gina & Teri
- *A Caterpillar’s Destruction: Viola Davis on Set
- Representation Matters
- ** available only via iTunes