Deathy’s review published on Letterboxd:
Score : 7.5/10 ✅
FUNNY STORY FIRST : Someone at the end of our row fall into DEEP sleep throughout the movie, the woman was so missing in action that my girlfriend try to wake her up (during the credits) but she wouldn’t even budge an inch. She then tried to shake her, giving her a delicate tap on her forehead and we were starting to think that probably this person had a stroke or something. My girlfriend then decided to whisper in her ears ‘’The movie is finished, you can wake up’’. I guess that was the breaking point to wake her up cause the woman woke up, smiled and then stand up and just left CASUALLY like nothing ever happened. It was funny cause she wasn’t waking up during the song ‘’Keep rising’’ while the credits were rolling. Oh, the irony.
Gotta admit something here; anything with Viola Davis is 99% guaranteed to be solid, and in the case of The Woman King, she gives one of the most powerful, authoritative and aspiring role in her career.
The level of commitment of creating an epic-scaled historical film that feels grandiose and inspirational is very on-point. This is much closer to a Braveheart/The Patriot type of film than, let’s say, The Northman which I guess The Woman King could have benefited from. Even if I really liked the movie, the PG-13 rating seems to hold back the movie a lot here and like I said with my example of The Northman earlier, if the movie would have been a bit more violent and visceral (especially due to the context of sisterhood and slavery) we could have got a more poignant movie here. But I guess it was not the intention and it’s okay. This is much more of a crowd-pleaser film like those historical epic movies that we were getting left and right at the end 90’s and beginning of 2000’s.
Everything that comes from the production design, costume design and the music/score department is very high class and deserves a 5 star. It shows that it was made with care. Where my expectations weren’t met is more in the story department and how the movie feels VERY overlong, it feels like something was either missing or was too much overused? Can’t really put my finger on it but I would have taken more training (with various weapons), perhaps a bit more action or at least conflict of some sort and fewer spa conversations. But hey, that’s probably just me.
At the end of the day, it’s an empowering tale of defying oppression and from that perspective alone, The Woman King delivers a remarkable experience that deserves to be seen on the big screen.