The Woman King

The Woman King ★★★½

Film #43 among my 52 Films by Women 2022

In this historical action drama, director Gina Prince-Bythewood takes us to Africa in the early 19th century to witness an all-female warrior brigade defend the Kingdom of Dahomey (now southern Benin) from invading Oyo tribes and European slavers. Viola Davis stars as General Nanisca of the Agojie, Amazon-like virgin soldiers loyal to newly installed King Ghezo (John Boyega). A talented female orphan named Nawi (Thuso Mbedu) trains to join the Agojie, although her stubborn individualism conflicts with the discipline required to join the sisterhood.

What I liked here were the action sequences, the chanting, and the location shooting in South Africa. The dialogue and plot often fell into stereotype, but the on-screen presence of Davis and Mbedu consistently pulled it through. Let's say 3.5 stars, very good, and see it before it leaves the big screen.

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