After almost two years of coronavirus absence, the Marvel Cinematic Universe is finally back in theaters with Scarlett Johansson in her role as Black widow (2021), the twenty-fourth film, which has been directed by the Australian Cate shortland. And it’s not that viewers missed him being able to enjoy three of his miniseries on Disney Plus: WandaVision, Falcon and the Winter Soldier and Loki (Jac Schaeffer, Malcolm Spellman and Michael Waldron, 2021).
But that his productions return to the cinema, while the new one is distributed on the Mickey Mouse streaming platform, is a joy in such a difficult context for the world. And it does not seem like a payment snot that I do it with the most different work of how many superheroic adventures we have seen in this long saga.
It is known that executive producer Kevin Feige, the geek mastermind who traces the path of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, makes sure it owns narrative coherence and cohesion in its audiovisual style. This is most reasonable for simple artistic decency and because the whole must be recognizable in its parts as a united whole. And, logically, the personal manners of the filmmakers involved have to be reduced for the sake of that goal. If they have them and they have been revealed as well as authors.
‘Black Widow’ is somewhat out of the Marvel molds
For this reason, Black Widow cannot be described in another way but surprising, thanks to the characteristics of the script written by Eric Pearson according to the story devised by Jac Schaeffer and Ned Benson, with Feige looking over his shoulder, and the commitment to planning by Cate Shortland.
This director has shown a defined personality and not very close to that of commercial cinema, and one can see this by sitting down before the other three titles that she has offered us to date: Somersault (2004), Lore (2012) and Berlin syndrome (2017 ). Its protagonists are women who face quite disturbing difficulties, each one in their environment and at their level, so they agree to direct Black Widow, obtaining superior professional visibility, it has not led him to give up his interests as a storyteller at all.
And what amazes and amazes us is that Cate Shortland has not given up on print your own style on images, which is clearly noticeable in the specific way in which he frames the characters, with insistent close-ups, for example.
But don’t shed all your ways filmic in Black Widow, their atypical frames, diffuse approaches and particularized montage, they would not have allowed it for the reasons that we have already explained about the Kevin Feige guide. So those who don’t miss a single installment of the Marvel Cinematic Universe won’t miss the movie.
An atypical darkness between the characters
We can say that the general aspect that it has given pivots between that of recent spy action films, such as the five films about The Bourne Affair (2002-2016) or the other pentalogy centered on Daniel Craig’s James Bond from Casino Royale (2006-2021), and Marvel’s tokenism. His violence is no more bloody but yes harder and more disturbing than usual; by the specific traits with which Eric Pearson has endowed the relationships of the characters.
Most of the films in the series follow the pattern of superheroes and villains; and, although they deepen the opportune in the singularities of each one, their motivations and internal dramas are typical. But deep in the guts of Scarlett Johansson’s Black Widow there are extravagant darkness that we have not met in previous feature films; and this constitutes the second peculiarity that distinguishes his adventures.
Something not completely unexpected considering that Eric Pearson, responsible for the writing of Godzilla vs. Kong (Adam Wingard, 2021), is also the most hilarious and brazen of Marvel films, Thor: Ragnarok (Taika Waititi, 2017); along with Craig Kyle and Christopher L. Yost; and it seems that he achieves such a thing by becoming serious, without depriving himself of a smile mood.
Choral music and the compliant cast
On the other hand, the soundtrack of Lorne balfe, which has composed those of Ghost in the Shell (Rupert Sanders, 2017) or Mission: Impossible: Fallout (Christopher McQuarrie, 2018), sometimes falls into the russian temptation of choirs as Henry Jackman for Helmut Zemo’s (Daniel Brühl) Soviet theme in Captain America: Civil War (Joe and Anthony Russo, 2016); but it complies and we don’t dislike it in the least.
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As the work of the cast in its entirety, be that of Scarlett Johansson (Match Point) like our missed Natasha Romanoff, Florence pugh (Midsommar) and his singular aura playing Yelena Belova, David Harbor (Stranger Things) as Alexei Shostakov, Rachel Weisz (Enemy at the Gates) as Melina Vostokoff, Ray Winstone (The Departed) as the creepy Dreykov or OT Fagbenle (The Handmaid’s Tale) incarnating to Rick Mason.
In short, Black Widow does not lack the fast-paced sequences nor of the pleasant entertainment that the Marvel Cinematic Universe always provides us. But we must understand that, due to the special script by Eric Pearson and the effective stylistic intervention of Cate Shortland, it is the most different film in the saga so far.