It’s been a long wait for Natasha Romanoff, alias Black Widow, the original female Avenger, to get a standalone film that’s all about her. Director Cate Shortland, Marvel Cinematic Universe’s (MCU) first female solo director, finally gave Natasha, played by Scarlett Johansson. Unfortunately, this prominence was long overdue but could not do justice to her. The film throws light on the story of her origins while exploring things like the Red Room, Budapest, and Dreykov’s daughter, which we heard earlier but only as casual mention in the previous movies. The film finally allows us to explore these things in detail, and it’s a sincere effort on the part of the director but to no avail. Despite the earnest intent, the film never rises above disappointing mediocrity.
Black Widow –The Storyline
The Black Widow movie makes an impressive start with a flashback on a closely-knitted Ohio-based family of four, Alexei and Melina, and their two daughters, Natasha Romanoff and Yelena Belova, who intensely love all things American. Natasha, the elder daughter, is a brave but serious girl who is watchful and guarded. Her behavior provides enough cues about the impending exposure of the secrets that the audience would soon come to know about. The parents are Russian undercover agents who use the family as a screen.
Besides looking after her sister, Natasha followed her parents’ lead and had already started training at a secret Soviet boot camp, the Red Room. The camp trains young women and turns them into deadly agents. In a dramatic twist to the story, Natasha separates from Yelena as they turn to learn to become killers.
Immediately, the film skips to a time in 2016 following ‘Captain America: Civil War’ when Natasha is separated from the other Avengers and becomes a fugitive. Natasha discovers that the Red Room is as active as before during this time. Dreykov, its leader, is still alive, and the other avengers have become mindless assassins due to chemical manipulation. They can kill at will when directed.
A reluctant Natasha joins forces with her fake family and teams up with an older Yelena, who has found an antidote to mind control.
In the marvels black widow movie, David Harbour and Rachel Weisz play the roles of Alexei Shostakov (Red Guardian) and Melina Vostokoff and Florence Pugh as Yelena plays the role of her lifetime, overshadowing Scarlett Johansson for most of the time. The supporting cast includes Ray Winstone as Dreykov, Olga Kurylenko as Antonia Dreykov or Taskmaster, O.T.Fagbenle as Rick Mason and William Hurt portrays the character of Thaddeus Ross, a former US Army General and currently the US Secretary of States.
The film would leave Natasha’s hardcore fans disheartened as the spotlight moves away from her for most of the time and shines upon the other members of her family, especially Yelena and Red Guardian. However, both actors play their parts well. Harbour’s clever handling of the Russian version of Captain America strikes the right balance of bravado and humor. However, the black widow belongs to Pugh, who steals the thunder from Scarlett Johansson.