A historical epic that deserves the crown: Female warriors take center stage in “The Woman King”


A historical epic that deserves the crown: Female warriors take center stage in The Woman King

By Annabelle Julien, Sage Cole, and Shayla Andrews

The recently released film, “The Woman King,” is a fantastic story that portrays an underrepresented historical group of female African warriors, the Agojie. The film takes place in the 1820s and follows General Nanisca as she trains the next generation of female warriors to fight against a foreign enemy. Throughout the film, the warriors are tested both physically and emotionally through battles, the loss of their sisters, and the threat of slavery. The film is categorized as a historical epic. It exceeded expectations by combining different genre elements, including action, romance and drama. Though thrilling and action-packed, the movie is also extremely emotional and raw. There wasn’t a dry eye in the theater. As soon as we started watching, the movie had us on the edge of our seats. The beginning of the movie drops you into a brutal battle of the different tribes and ends with the Agojie victoriously marching back to their village. As the film progresses, we learn more about the rules of the tribe and are introduced to the new recruits.

Apart from being a brilliant period piece, the movie provides powerful female historical figures for upcoming generations to look up to. Strong female leads are exciting to see on such a big stage, and it is even more important that we learn about our society’s history in all aspects. This film does a fantastic job of depicting a historical event with the respect and attention it deserves, embracing the women and making them role models for all that watch the movie.

 The story itself was good, but it was the star-studded cast that set this film apart from other historical pieces. With big names like Viola Davis leading the tribe as General Nanisca and John Boyega as King Ghezo, the movie was bound to be good. The actor that stood out was Thuso Mbedu, who played the main recruit. Mbedu’s passion and conviction on screen made it impossible to look away and made you feel like you were on the journey with her. All of the actors put on a show-stopping performance throughout the whole movie. We felt their raw emotions through the screen, making the film feel real. 

The attention to detail and commitment to the realistic portrayal of the story throughout the entire film made the movie more enjoyable to watch because you could feel the passion and dedication. The movie focuses on the Agojie and their tribe, who speak English throughout the entire movie, allowing the audience to better understand. This seems normal to viewers, but as the plot continues, language becomes a bigger part of the story. As foreign slave traders are introduced, it becomes apparent that the audience, like the tribe, is not meant to understand the traders easily, or at all, in their native tongue when subtitles are used in their scenes. Along with the clever dialogue, the set also improved the film’s historical value. “The Woman King” was shot in Cape Town, Africa, making the set authentic to the story being told. The setting and vibrant clothing helped create a more realistic depiction of the culture and life of the Agojie.  

We give the movie five stars for the amazing details and the raw emotion the cast portrayed. The film brings new narratives to the cinematic world that deserve to be told, allowing people to learn and grow based on accurate portrayals of all elements of the story’s history. In addition to the historical significance, the film’s direction and production gave us chills, specifically during the end plot twist when all of the puzzle pieces came together. However, we’re not going to spoil the movie, so you have to go experience it yourself.