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Black Is King Review: An Attractive Visual Album That Lacks Narrative Harmony

After watching Black Is King, on Disney+ Hotstar, I was certainly left in awe and wonder of Beyoncé’s craft. Her ambition and tuneful dynamism have consistently remained jaw-dropping. She has elided (at times, even reformed) the divide between art, culture, and politics with her work. In her music, they are synonymous. Black Is King is another addition to her sonic skills. Here, she dons the responsibility of celebrating African culture and history. 

The news and chatter around this visual album/film was rather quiet and mysterious. Only a few details were disclosed prior to its release — the film is an artistic continuation to the album Beyoncé created in connection to The Lion King remake, ‘The Lion King: The Gift.’ And referring to one of her Instagram posts as well as the trailer, Black Is King is supposed to explore African traditions and diaspora, while also following a spiritual arc we saw in Jon Favreau’s latest film (as well as the original). The film-album essentially ticks all those boxes — it provides visual tapestry to the songs from The Gift and to quite some extent, attempts to follow the philosophical journey of Simba and Nala (Beyoncé also voiced this character in the remake). As a sum of its fledgeling parts, however, Black Is King isn’t quite narratively coherent. 




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