Surprise, surprise; I’m reviewing another film on Disney+. I was going to review Hamilton but it wouldn’t have made a very long review. All I need to say is it’s monumental and game-changingly great. Watch it. I already have several times.
Recently, Beyonce premiered her latest “visual album” after the success of “Lemonade” in 2016. It too was visually stunning and a work of art. “Black is King” is her latest album and film, loosely based on/inspired by “The Lion King”. Movie goers may remember she was also the voice of Nala in the CGI remake. She previously released a tie-in album titled The Lion King: The Gift wherein each track “gives the listener a chance to imagine their own imagery, while listening to a new contemporary interpretation” (from Pitchfork Media). While working on The Gift, she was inspired to create Black is King and began production in various locales throughout Africa.
Unsurprisingly, the film is a masterpiece. She has such an eye for beauty in all things and respect for her ancestry that explodes on the screen in such a way you cannot look away. I was completely engrossed from the first frame. She is an incredible storyteller as well, crafting a beautiful and timeless narrative of a young African king cast out from his family. He must undergo a journey “through betrayal, love and self-identity” to reclaim his throne, using the guidance of his ancestors and childhood love (from Wikipedia).
The music is incredible. Pure and simple. A mix of lullabies, traditional African music, and some real bangers like “My Power”, for this white male reviewer to try to describe it would be a disservice to the entire film. The costuming is amazing. The hair is gorgeous. The cinematography is award-worthy. The guest artist cast is pure magic. This film is quite literally the greatest of its kind. Beyonce and her co-creators deserve all the praise they have received and then some.
And for anyone more concerned with the bottom line than artistic impact, Disney reported it met its five-year subscriber goal in its first eight months of service (whoa) and secured another three million subscribers thanks to this film’s release.
So it’s not just me who loves it!
Not only is it absolutely beautiful, it is very important for young children of any race to see and appreciate this film. It’s empowering to women, it’s empowering to people of color, and it’s empowering to all of us as brothers and sisters on this Earth. I can’t say enough good things about it. Why are you still reading this? Put it on now and get ready to be blown away.
Black is King is currently streaming on Disney+.
Rating: 10 out of 5 Snack Packs
Lincoln L. Hayes is an actor and writer living in isolation for the past five months in the NYC area. Please wear a mask and maintain social distancing. Please. For Grandmom Frederick’s sake, may she rest in peace.