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. It’s 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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