Malcolm & Marie (2021) Review

After a few drinks and some rest, I can finally talk about this film. Never in my small time on this Earth, have I witnessed such a pernicious exchange between two people. Malcolm & Marie is about a couple with an extremely virulent relationship. Its not cute or sexy, no one should consider this story as #goals. In fact, it is an examination of verbal abuse and masochism. For those who haven’t seen it yet, consider this a trigger warning.

The film stars John David Washington (Malcolm) and Zendaya (Marie). An argument can be made for who the true antagonist is which in itself is a narrative accomplishment. Marie is a master in subtle shade and dismissive body language. While Malcolm serves as the domineering personality that lashes out like a wounded animal when offended or questioned. Because the movie is stylistic and dramatic, I think it would have greatly benefited from color.

Certain camera angles and scenes fell flat in black & white. There were moments when I wasn’t sure I was watching Netflix or straight pornography. Also, Zendaya’s character was too familiar to Rue from Euphoria, which is also created by Sam Levinson. One could argue this is a shared universe further down the timeline for her. However, my biggest gripe, is the runtime. Malcolm went on for eons with his verbally-obese monologues. It seemed forced and visibly took a toll on his lungs. Malcolm & Marie gets a 6 out of 10.

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