Nathan is a film critic and aspiring author with a true passion for the film industry who hopes his writings will help launch his career.
"Two people in a room can get more done than 100." That statement made by T'Challa in Captain America: Civil War rings true in the case of Zendaya's newest film Malcolm & Marie. It didn't have a cast of 100 or even 40. It had a cast of two: Zendaya and John David Washington. While I'm sure many people out there will wonder what's so great about seeing a couple argue for two hours, I and a host of others see the film for what it truly is. It's a mirror through which we each see our own reflections. Whether you see a piece of yourself in Marie or in Malcolm, or even in both, you will find realism, understanding, and authenticity. Deeply relatable and intelligent, Malcolm & Marie takes a couple's argument and elevates it to a level in which we can feel and share the emotional trauma Marie has and the egotistical mania Malcolm has.
Who's right and who's wrong becomes irrelevant as you slowly discover that they're both right and they're both wrong. After a while, the film no longer becomes a matter of perspective but rather a matter of understanding. Both parties just want to be heard and understood and they can't find that in each other so it's up to the audience to hear and understand.
The fact that the film is filmed in black and white is a perfect metaphor regarding the couple's relationship. We on the outside looking in see the couple as your typical relationship, a black and white world where everything is exactly as it seems. But as the film unfolds and we learn about Marie's background and Malcolm's aspirations, we realize neither of them are as clear as we once thought.
There's a lot of interesting points brought up by both sides about the entertainment world, about critics and filmmakers, and about the viewers. There's brilliance and truth in the dialogue which sometimes had me clapping in agreeance and sometimes shifting uncomfortably as the truth set in. That's how you know what's being said is effective.
Zendaya and John David Washington both give brilliant performances. I love it when actors give everything they have in a raw, unrestrained fashion. It makes the viewers feel and care when they most likely didn't expect or plan to feel and care. Both actors' talents are on display for the world to see and I have a feeling they will both branch out into deeper and more emotional film territory in the future.
In conclusion, this film deserves high praise for the performances, the writing and directing, and the dedication of the crew to make this film possible. I give Malcolm & Marie a 4 out of 4.
© 2021 Nathan Jasper