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Ms. Marvel Episode 1 review: Iman Vellani as Kamala Khan is perfect, so is the colourful origin story

Ms. Marvel pilot episode leaves an impressive mark. It’s a delightful blend of interesting casting and a binge-worthy storyline.

3.5rating
  • Aishwarya Vasudevan

Last Updated: 01.05 PM, Jun 07, 2022

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Ms. Marvel Episode 1 review: Iman Vellani as Kamala Khan is perfect, so is the colourful origin story

Iman Vellani, as Ms. Marvel

Story:

Ms. Marvel is a new television series that stars Kamala Khan, a 16-year-old Pakistani-American girl living in Jersey City. She is an excellent student, a passionate gamer, and a voracious fan-fiction writer with a particular fondness for superheroes, especially Captain Marvel. But Kamala has a hard time fitting in at home and school—until she gains superpowers like the heroes she's always idolised. Isn't it true that having superpowers makes life easier? Iman Vellani plays Kamala Khan, aka Ms. Marvel.

Review:

It's been a longing by a lot of Marvel fans to watch their offerings, which have been as enjoyable as they have been over the years. With the franchise getting darker just like the world, Ms. Marvel is a ray of hope and fun. A new origin story of a superhero in the making is a norm which sets the precedent for the future titles making their way into the MCU. But the latest show is completely new with no baggage whatsoever.

In recent times, we have seen Moon Knight discover his powers and multiple personalities within himself, but it was a bit scary to watch. But Ms. Marvel is an antonym to what we witnessed a few weeks back. It's vibrant, colourful, and fits the bill of what we call a coming-of-age story.

Iman Vellani, who plays Kamala Khan, is a huge superhero fan, and her room, laptop, and everything else scream it. She lives with her family, who is of Pakistani origin and settled in New Jersey. Although her dreams are limited to visiting Avengers Con and winning Best Cosplay by dressing up as Captain Marvel, even that seems too much in a conservative household. Well, they are not entirely conservative, but if you belong to the South Asian community, you know the drill.

We might expect a strict family, but Ms. Marvel breaks all possible stereotypes of Pakistani-descendant people (Mohan Kapur and Zenobia Shroff as her parents, Yusuf Khan and Muneeba Khan, respectively) and their lifestyle in another country. On one hand, we have Kamala Khan dressing up in a casual, cool outfit. On the other hand, her close friend Yasmeen Fletcher as Nakia Bahadir wears the most luxurious brands rounded up with a hijab. There's no room for any stereotypical representation of the community living in the US. However, they have taken a lot of things into consideration, like mixing Urdu and Hindi with English when having daily conversations.

More than Kamala attaining superpowers, it's the representation that is as powerful as her turning into Ms. Marvel. The first episode is more devoted to establishing the family dynamics and how they interact with each other. A little is touched upon their home country, Pakistan, as they always have their extended family back home. But it's something that cannot be ignored as it takes a crucial curve in the story ahead.

When you have a story set against the backdrop of school, a page from Mean Girls has to make it. Showing bullies and prom queen sorta girls in the narrative has been well-explored and it sort of helps in creating catalysts for Kamala's story.

Creator Bisha K. Ali understood what she had signed up for and added more entertainment quotient along with the interesting storyline. As the episode progresses, there's much unravelling in a fun way, which is hands-down a delightful surprise.

The Bad Boys for Life duo Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah directed the pilot episode, adding such spunk and charm to the show that it makes for a colourful watch.

On top of that, there's one more reason why you will fall in love with the show; the outstanding music and the song choices added to the series. Those who know the songs will start tapping their feet as soon as they start playing. Those who don't, well, it's going to make it to your playlist for sure.

It's fascinating to see how, as South Asian representation in film and television grows, companies are increasingly avoiding clichés. This is my first impression, but I'm looking forward to hearing more to see if they'll follow through and keep this refreshing streak going.

Ms. Marvel is a mixture of light-hearted and fun moments, along with an intriguing storyline that will make you wish—why not release all episodes at once?!

Verdict:

Iman Vellani as Kamala Khan is cute, spontaneous, vibrant and a treat to one's eyes. Her journey to becoming Ms. Marvel is worth binging, period.

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