Last month, Netflix released a movie revolved around love and relationships called Malcolm and Marie. This film was a depiction of a highly unhealthy, romantic relationship between the two main characters Malcom and Marie. Malcom, a filmmaker, and his girlfriend, Marie, engaged in one single argument throughout the entire movie solely about Malcom’s award speech and how he did not thank Marie in his speech.
The interesting thing about this movie is that it took the viewers through an exhaustive emotional rollercoaster watching the couple argue over the same thing from different angles. At the same time, there were moments where it seemed that they ended the argument, but something would happen that would start the fight back up again. I think it depicts what many people go through in relationships: the tiring nature of having the same argument over and over.
Aside from the plot, I liked the artistic merit of the film. The entire film was in black and white, with great cinematography. My favorite element of the movie was the way the couple used music within their communication. The songs played were a reflection of how each of them felt at that point in time during the argument. It was creative and clever. The music spanned decades, from Motown to R&B it was a great touch to the movie.
Overall, Malcolm and Marie, for me, was hard to watch because of the emotional labor required for me to take in the plot and the argument. In addition, it took on the feel of a play made into a movie. The monologues were a little too extensive for my taste. Also, I could see how the way this couple communicated would be triggering for some audiences. Malcom’s narcissism was very apparent, which largely attributed to the couple’s toxic dynamic. However, the acting in the movie was really good. Zendaya killed her role and it was nice to see her play this kind of role. I also enjoyed John Washington, Denzel Washington’s son, playing in this film. There were many times throughout the movie where he sounded like his father on certain phrases, but overall, he held his own. In the trailer it stated that this was not a love story, but a story about love. I couldn’t agree more.