Voices Rising: The Music Of Wakanda Forever | Episode 1 Review
Marvel and Disney+ provide a behind the scenes look at how the score for the “Black Panther” sequel came together in “Voices Rising: The Music of Wakanda Forever.” Episode one follows a musician from Sweden as he works with musicians from all over the world to come up with the music that drives the plot of the popular Marvel film. Most of it is focused on the overall choices that help bring the world of Wakanda to screen.
Composer Ludwig Göransson basically leads this musical journey through his interviews about his meetings with director Ryan Coogler, how he chose the musical artists for collaboration and how they were able to help the creative process of this ambitious sequel that had to further the Black Panther’s character development while still being a fitting tribute to original “Black Panther” actor Chadwick Boseman.
Musical documentaries can be hit or miss because the style has to appeal to the viewer. I found myself drifting in and out during Göransson’s interviews. He is knowledgeable but it doesn’t always come across in the most intriguing way. However, in this episode, I did find myself jumping back into the story when they went to clips of the musicians coming up with the creative process, finding new ways to tell the story through music and just having fun with each other. I’m hoping to see more scene like that in episodes two and three.
Coogler’s interviews did more for me as a viewer when it comes to keeping me engaged. It’s his vision that Göransson is using to set the music, and I like hearing what he wanted to see from the musicians to help share his vision. Coogler is also a more bombastic figure than Göransson, and that probably helped to make his interviews more enthralling for me as a viewer.
It appears episode two will look at the music used to bring Namor to life. Namor is an interesting villain that helps elevate the film, but his appearances are also elevated by the music accompanying him. I can’t wait to see how they decided to use the music they did for him and his people.
Given this episode was only 30 minutes long, I’m wondering if they could’ve combined the three episodes into a 90 minute documentary rather than three 30 minute episodes. That could’ve improved the documentary, but it appears they have a clear focus for each episode, so I’m willing to admit this may be an instance where the episodic approach works better. I really don’t know, I’ll have to wait until all three episodes are released to know for sure. Either way, I can’t wait to see what happens next.
Rating: 3.5 stars
What did you think of “Voices Rising: The Making of Wakanda Forever?”