“Malcolm and Marie” chooses an odd but successful way to tell its love story. The movie is filmed in black and white to draw greater emphasis to the disordered relationship. “Malcolm & Marie” is an up-and-coming film director. Malcolm and his beautiful thin girlfriend are just getting home from his latest premiere as the movie begins.
Sam Levinson is the producer of the movie and is best known as the creator of the HBO teen drama Euphoria. Zendaya Coleman, the protagonist of the movie, is also one of the lead roles in the teen drama “Euphoria.” The movie is based on a real-life incident when Malcolm forgets to thank his girlfriend Marie at the premiere. The argument between the couple was significant because Malcolm didn’t give any credit to Marie of the movie that’s based on her life, he never gave her credit where it was due. The film illustrates how strong Marie can be through tough times. The film also illustrates that things will always be political and the status of things will always be based on race no matter the year it may be.
This is insinuated because according to Malcolm who is played by John David Washington, “I’m choosing to make a film that’s fundamentally political, but not everything I do is political because I’m Black.” This is an accurate depiction of what he goes through as a minority male filmmaker due to the fact that he feels anxious because of his skin color. The plot connected to the overall message of the movie by showing that relationships always have more going on behind closed doors.
“The script is very inconsistent and could use serious cutting,” John Doyle, assistant professor of communication, said. “The shot composition blows me away, especially when Washington walks outside while we look at him in bed. The black and white is stunningly beautiful, even the grain. The light, the high contrast really works. The camera movement mirrors the emotional content of the film and is well motivated. The acting is fantastic. Washington is both shallow and richly realized. Zendaya does an amazing job, better than I expected. This film is really a stage play on film. A two-hander in a single location which is one of the ways a story can be made feasible on stage. It works for COVID. It feels like a very indie film. Sometimes it feels like a French film from the 1960s.”
“People always have more going on for themselves in this world and it’s okay to have a negative or positive outcome,” Ariana Mack, sophomore psychology major, said. “After watching the movie it brought back memories to a recent conversation I had with a toxic guy.” After she told him several times that she wasn’t interested in him, he still refused to take no for an answer. This resulted in him being blocked by her.
“This is the only movie I watched that ever showed me the true ups and downs of a relationship,” Ryder Evans, senior biology major, said. “The movie shows me what I can possibly be faced with in the future when I get into a relationship.
Malcolm and Marie’s dialogue is the most intriguing part of the film. The film touches on a plethora of topics ranging from the way modern-day films are critiqued all the way down to dependency within relationships. While the film and its actors are shot beautifully, the conversations that take place between the characters can be described as extremely ugly with each character taking the opportunity to degrade and defile each other every chance they get.
With each character routinely going into monologues that are aimed at highlighting the other person’s deficiencies, the movie can be classified as a realistic, late-night quarrel between a couple within a toxic relationship. While the movie may be triggering for those who may have suffered through a relationship like that of Malcolm and Marie’s, the themes discussed along with the performances put on by Zendaya and John David Washington make it worth the watch.