Inspired by true events, this look back in history, in the 1800’s, follows the life of General Nanisca (Viola Davis) one of many in the Agojie, an all women group of warriors out to protect the African Kingdom of Dahomey which is under the rule of King Ghezo (John Boyega). Nanisca was a tough woman, intelligent as well as brutal, but she presented Ghezo with an idea which would be to sell palm oil to the Portuguese and not slaves. Ghezo was not immediately on board as were the Portuguese but somethings take time and some things make the time.
In a side story, Nawi (Thuso Mbedu) was brought to the doors of Dohomey by her father for disobeying an order. Once accepted to prove herself as a warrior she would live with the other women, Amenza (Sheila Atim) and Lzogie (Lashana Lynch) both close friends to Nanisca along with all the other women. It did not take long for Nawi to make friends with the others since she always tended to give a hand to the others in need even if it left her jeopardized in a fight or with her leaders like Nanisca.
Yet as the story continues, we begin to learn of a secret one that could not only jeopardize Nanisca but that of Nawi and possibly the rest of the warriors.
The story starts right off with action which proves to the viewer who the warrior in the colony of women is, Nanisca. Some think it would belittle the King Ghezo but others respect a leader that knows a leader. The director does an amazing job with this film as do the writers. At first, I figured it would be a constant battle with very little plot but not so they bring several side steps to the main plot. The cinematography is breath-taking at times and the score is perfect to the scenes. Along with the action they cool it down in the middle of the film with some sub-stories that end up fitting perfectly like that of pieces to a puzzle.
Davis is hands down amazing. I know she is not the youngest person on screen but you would never know that by way that she fought. She is both a true warrior but a woman of compassion as well, if needed that is! Mbedu is brilliant especially for her size. You would not think that someone of her stature would be able to keep up with the others but she does and even more so. Lynch and Atim are a wonderful support to the leads as are many of the other characters and even though Boyega doesn’t have a big part, he works it well especially when sitting on his throne. There were horses on the set mainly in the battles and some did not get away without their own war wounds. If you’re looking for a film with battles and an intriguing story then this inspired by true events movie is for you!