First off, I’m going to start off by saying I 100% went on a hiatus, but I’m just not sure if I want to share all my business with the internet (Like I haven’t been doing that on here for like 2 years, but whatever) and explain that journey yet.
Yesterday, my friends from college and I went to see the movie Queen and Slim. (I’m trying my best to avoid spoilers, but here’s a synopsis of the movie for those who haven’t heard of it). Prior to watching the film, I heard many different and mixed reviews, where some people really enjoyed it, and some really disliked it.
I hate to say it I hope I don’t sound mean but… I have to say I agree… with both opinions.
Let’s start with what parts of this film I did enjoy:
- The reoccurring themes: A few concepts were introduced to me throughout the duration of the film, that I was shocked to see again. A few of these themes included the concept of immortality, the woman protagonist always suffering first, and even the simple theme of being called “boy” by a figure of authority. They helped the story progress, while also keeping me interested when they arose again.
- The foreshadowing: While discussing the movie with my friends, we pointed out how the whole ending scene is a huge foreshadow. Putting pieces together based on what was said and done and being able to infer what would happen at the end of the movie was something I personally enjoyed, especially with how fast everything unraveled.
- Though typical movie cliches were introduced, they were also challenged: White saviorship is an extremely common theme in movies involving people of color who have a problem. While this movie briefly showed one white family involved in assisting the couple, black men specifically were the main ones shown providing solutions. The “all skinfolk ain’t kinfolk” cliche was introduced, yet was also debunked.
- The cast: Daniel Kaluuya, Jodie Turner- Smith, Bokeen Woodbine, and Jahi Di’allo were 4 cast members who I personally feel like had the most memorable performances. Though I am very familiar with Kaluuya because of his work in Get Out and Black Panther, I definitely would like to get more familiar with the rest of these actors and actresses to fully see their range. (btw shoutout to Indya Moore too, her even being cast at all is just overall iconic, wow.)
- The soundtrack: Please listen to that whenever you get the chance, I wouldn’t steer you wrong.
Now here’s what I didn’t necessarily enjoy about the film.
- It didn’t flow well at times: Some of the dialogues felt very out of place and random, causing a lot of confusion. The riot scene (does this count as a spoiler? I hope not) is a perfect example of this. While displaying a riot taking place in one of the previously visited cities by the protagonists in their honor, it also panned back and forth to these two characters in their next city. While I won’t go into detail, I will say that this back and forth took away from the intensity of the actual riot. There were also a few random scenes that didn’t pull on my heartstrings or inflict any emotion- except confusion.
- It felt over-romanticized: Yes this movie is technically a romantic drama, at the end of the day it is a movie about police brutality. While police brutality was the main theme of this film, I feel like the love story downplayed this. Police brutality is a serious topic that affects our communities on a borderline daily basis, and this movie had the perfect opportunity to present it from a different angle. Yet the execution was pretty meh, and this is 100% exemplified at the last scene.
This movie was okay. While I personally didn’t go crazy over the film, I’d be open to seeing it again, just to look at it from a different POV. While everyone on social media attacked the creators of this film, my friend also pointed out a really good point. We are always so quick to criticize black creativity when not every movie is meant to be groundbreaking or iconic. Especially when our counterparts produce mediocrity all the time, and still continue to do so. Overall, this film has some good and some bad, but was there really a better way to produce a film with such an intense plot anyway?