The Woman King

The Woman King ★★★★

Viola Davis is one of those great actresses who can portray women in a near-permanent state of ferocity. She shines like the sun in every film she appears in.

It's somewhere between reality and legend, about Dahomey's all-female warrior unit, the Agojie. History may have been twisted for cinematic storytelling purposes, but it's fundamentally a very human film about relationships between the main female characters, with a nice paced story, beautiful scenery, and bad-ass action. But there's so much emotion and beauty in this film's war, cries, dances, and superbly staged set-pieces. It's fast, loose, and totally works. The writing could have used some improvement and some editing to cut down on the filler that bloated the 135-minute runtime, but Davis' presence made most of the flaws bearable. Overall, it was powerful, vicious, strong, and exciting. I don't know much about the history, but I enjoyed this film as a work of fiction.

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