Neupert’s model explains the concepts of endings in movies. While viewers may find movies or films to have ended in a rather of odd, unexpected, and unsatisfied manner, the narrative composition of cinema would have reflected a hint of such endings. Neupert’s first two models concentrate on closed text films and open story films. Closed text films usually associated with classical cinema, tend to trouble their endings. Open story films which mostly are art cinemas end in expected manners, contrary to which attract controversies. The death of Khaleesi in Game of Thrones is an example of a film that ended in a rather unsatisfying way. With various viewers filing a petition for a total reproduction of the final season, explains movies in art cinemas is not all about happy endings. Black Panther, on the other hand, ended in what can be termed as a happy ending. With the death of Killmonger and the triumph of Tchalla, Wakanda is left in safe hands. Ironically, the finish, however, conflicts with the central theme of the story about black empowerment. As an African kill a fellow black American, Wakanda still remains under the threat of Western interference. To some extent, the plot of the movie remains dangling, and the viewers are left wondering how Wakanda will remain a safe place in the hands of TChalla and threats of Western existence.
The movie narrative composition is all about black empowerment and liberation against Western rule. From the slavery days of the black community to a modern state exhibited in a
fictional analogy, the film speaks about black empowerment and control. Wakanda is a fictional place, away from all the trouble, tribulations and suffering created by White supremacy and existence. T Challa being an African, is expected to protect the kingdom from interference from the whites as it is supposed to be safe heaven. Anderson suggest that for more than 500 years, the black community from the forefathers to the defendants all dreamt of the day they would be free from bondage and brutal rule in place that can offer them solitude to practice national autonomy (Anderson). It is a movie that challenges institutional biases and vehemently criticizes systems and acts that discriminate against the black community. Wakanda being a safe place, is considered to be a hone that will forever protect Africans from American existence. The movie marks a milestone that ends the torture and suffering of the black community for more than 500 years under the hands of White rule and dominance. With black supremacy being the central theme, viewers expect the movie to end with TChalla conquering the Westerners and reinstating Wakanda to its position of power and rule (Mokoena 23). Ironically, the film ends with TChalla killing a person of the black community Killmonger, ending in a rather unpredicted manner.
The concept of liberating the black community through movement is well illustrated in the movie the war between Wakanda and the Western ships. In the film, Ross, a Westerner, attempts to crush down the Wakanda ship through constant attacks (Hughes &Houston 187). The scene is viewed as a symbolic aspect of crushing the black community by white supremacists, anytime the cease to start a revolution. As Wakanda was thriving on its own, it caught a lot of attention of Westerners that Wakanda would soon become too powerful to sustain. Ross character is an illustration of white supremacy that cannot live peacefully as the
black community thrives (Anderson). Through the fight, it worth noting that the whites will always interfere even in the place blacks have considered their own and safe heaven. Killmonger, on the other hand, is viewed as the African American that is against radical internationalism. Often given many hideouts and consumed with rage, Killmonger is against the interference of Whites into Wakanda. Being of African American heritage illustrates the torments and sufferings exposed to his people in the land of the Westerners that he would not wish to occur to people at their own home. What intended to be a fight against the Westerns ironically turns out to be disagreements between African Americans and Africans. Eventually, the plot of the film changes to be a fight against people of the same culture as opposed to being a fight against the black community and the Westerners.
Black politics are often disregarded, given little or no importance. Mokoena argues that black politics are often neglected, especially with their relationship with the West (Mokoena 31). In the film, Wakanda regarded the safe place for the black community remains to be a place of high interest to the westerner. Even though Wakanda is in a fictional setting in the movie, the underlying politics are very real. As Wakanda continues to grow and thrive, interest from the West grows in equal proportion. The attacks initiated by Ross to Wakanda explain the continued interference of Whites to black politics, even after acquiring freedom that they fought for years (David). The film, therefore, depicted that the end of colonialism does not necessarily illustrate the end of West involvement in the politics of a black community.
Hughes and Houston argue that the film having been set in a post-colonial setting is an illustration of an African community that has been advancing well in technology than the
westerners. In the essence that the movie portrays an element of black supremacy and advancement over the whites. The film is an illustration of a black community wealthy and immune from slavery and a Western community that strives to rob off the Africans from progress. To what is openly debatable, the movie predicted possible black supremacy over the Westerners in the coming years, acting as a source of black empowerment (Mokeana 35). The main point of view being a black community, Excellency, supremacy, and power, the ending, however, does not cooperate with the theme and the plot of the movie.
The film takes a somewhat melancholic tone when it emerges to be a fight between black Americans and Africans. The battle between Killmonger and T’Challa was a presentation of an African and African American disunity that is projected to continue for the next coming centuries. Considered as fundamental dissonance, the fight between Killmonger and T’Challa is a representation of African racial capitalism and exploitation that is projected to continue in the future (David). In the movie, Kilmonger wishes to deploy resources in Wakanda to fight the Westerners. In the film, it is worth noting that Killmonger is usually enraged with the desire for war and thirst to conquer the West. His acts and character portray a deep disgust and hate towards oppression and American racism. As a result, Killmonger only resorts to counter abuse, and slavery was through war and violence. The disagreement between Killmonger and T’Challa further gives an illustration of how African-minorities perceive Africa and its people (Anderson). Wakanda being both conservative and advanced in technology, opens doors for attacks as depicted in the movie. The result shows that the Westerners will always exploit the naivety of Africans for their benefits. Black Panther film eventually ends in a melancholic tone. As Killmonger took the character of the villain in the movie, it was entirely predictable he was
to die at the end. However, the film turns out to be ironical as it is not congruent with the initial concept of black empowerment (Rubin). The end of the movie only showcases an African killing a Black American in a film celebrating black excellence and empowerment. Many critics pointed out this fact expecting the movie to end in a somewhat different way. For instance, Killmonger and T’Challa, both being from the black community, were expected to join forces and counter the Westerners. Perhaps, the movie might have made more sense considering it’s based on black excellence.
Nevertheless, after Killmonger was defeated, T’Challa begged the former to allow Wakanda treatment to save his life. Killmonger, however, decided his fate and wished to be thrown in the sea as his forefathers did. The scene in the movie explains the trials and tribulations the African ancestors have been subjected to (David). In the middle passage, they preferred to jump in the sea and choose death as opposed to a life of slavery. Others decided to starve themselves to death as opposed to a life of bondage. Suicide evolved to be a rebellion tactic, with whites forcefully feeding the blacks to save their lives. Killmonger’s utterance was a sign of how the black community despised a life of slavery. At this point, it can be argued it is both a happy and sad ending to the film. IT is a happy ending that Kilmonger, the villain, had to die, and a tragic end that it is a black American dying instead of the Westerners.
Happy endings in movies have been a term common in American cinemas since the initial years of recording films. Critics point out that endings in cinema are not usually about what the viewers want, but what it ought to want (MacDowell 8). Hollywood history dictates that it has always been a norm for filmmakers and reviewers to end with a “happy ending.”
Mordant Hall, critic at the New York Times, analyses filmmakers and producers’ inability to think beyond the conventional norm of happy endings in movies. It is worth noting writer and producer Ryan Coogler deploys the same aspects in Black Panther by eventually using character T’Challa, the hero, to kill Killmonger, the villain. As it has been the norm to give viewers a happy ending, the same applies to the movie black panther. Ironically, as it should have been a movie that celebrates black Excellency, it should have ended in a slightly different way. Even though Killmonger’s act of being thrown in the sea at the expense of white slavery is celebrated as a win to the black community, a more elaborate winning of whites should have been exhibited in the film.
Now that Killmonger is dead and T’Challa left to rule, how will Wakanda government work considering the border tribe openly resisted T’Challa? Additionally, since Mbaku and the tribe from the mountain assisted T’Challa in his rescue, does it quite necessarily mean that they will be involved in ruling Wakanda? While the majority of the viewers may ask to have the same questions with no answer, the political intrigue in Wakanda has just but began (Rubin). It is worth noticing that plot issues are left dangling, as no one has the answers to these questions but the producers. Suspense is, therefore, an integral part of art cinemas or open films as viewers are left with no completion of the story and left to wonder. Many viewers, thus, are left to wonder how life after the death of Killmonger is, and how Wakanda will prosper under the hands of T’Challa.
At the ending scenes, T’Challa decides to make Wakanda accessible after centuries of protection and isolation. David considers it to be logical, as Killmonger’s upbringing in Oakland
is what led him to become violent and despiteful (David). Through sharing its technology all over the world, Wakanda would ironically affect everything. It the film, T’Challa arrives at the United Nations and tells the general assembly that Wakanda would no longer isolate itself. From now henceforth, Wakanda is obligated to share whatever it has with the rest of the world. T’Challa gives endless promises of unity and suggests that Wakanda will associate itself with the global community. After T’Challa addresses the global village, the UN representative ends up vocalizing what everyone thought. For a country filled with African farmers, what will it have to offer the rest of the world?
The end of the movie is in contrast to the plot and theme of the whole film. Ironically, Wakanda seems to be part of what it has been protecting itself from the whole centuries (Rubin). T’Challa agrees to open doors to the Westerners to corporate and be committed to unity. The United assembly bears in mind that Wakanda has little to offer to develop and to bring about fundamental change in the world. Entering into the United Nations goes against everything Wakanda was built for, making it more vulnerable. Since the movie was all about black excellence, perhaps Black Panther 2 will illustrate the mistake of entering into a deal with the United Nations.
Closing scenes of the film further opened up concepts that suggest plot issues were left up dangling. In the movie, we see young children playing basketball in Oakland. One particular child gets a significant focus on the film that many film analyzers suggest could have played an enormous significance. Before viewers can speculate who, the kid might be, it is vital to access if there exists any Wakandans in Oakland. As Killmonger managed to stay under the radar for
years, there might be possibilities of a few kids Killmonger still in Oakland (Rubin). Perhaps the kid will be amongst the upcoming rebels who are ready to challenge T’Challa for the throne. It is worth noticing the movie further exhibited the culture, its people, and a Wakandan silver. Therefore, there is more to come for the family and political intrigue of the film.
Closing scenes of the movie illustrates T’Challa spending his time in Oakland. The viewers can expect Black Panther to start fighting villains in the United States soon by offering his help outside the Wakandan borders. It is possible for a premier of Black Panther 2 that shows T’Challa maneuvering around the United States to understand how the rest of the world work. After joining the international community, it even becomes more relevant for T’Challa to tour around the world and assess how Wakanda will influence other countries. However, if Wakanda is trying to change the world as T’Challa intended, some influence will return to the native fictional county. Needless to say, that Wakanda has super-sneakers, magnetic trains, and video bracelets, but when they interfere with the United States, America will, for sure, hit back hard.
The end of the movie leaves Wakanda at the hands of the T’Challa and the American existence. T’Challa, having agreed to join the international community, leaves Wakanda exposed. For a film that communicated mostly about black empowerment, a union between an African and Westerners might not be the best ending.
Hughes, Ünock. & Houston, Richardson. Introduction to the Special Issue: Alternative Imaginings, “Markets, Globalization &. doi:DOI: 10.23860/MGDR. 02,03,2018.
Anderson, James. New Black Panther Synopsis Revealed.18, 2017.
David, Teilmans. “‘Black Panther’: 90 Things to Know about the MCU’s Game-Changing Movie”. 24, 2018.
MacDowell, James. Introduction: The ‘happy ending’: the making of a reputation. Happy Endings in Hollywood Cinema, 1-16. doi:10.3366/Edinburgh/9780748680177.003.0001. 2013.
Mokoena, Diana. Black Panther and the Problem of the Black Radical. The Journal of Pan African Studies, vol.11.2018.
Rubin, B. The ending of Black Panther explained. https://www.looper.com/109925/ending-black-panther-explained/. 2018.