English is not my native language. I may have misspelled some words, and maybe a bunch of my turn of phrases are not 100% correct. The most important is that you understand what I meant in this article. Don’t be afraid to tell me so if I made some mistakes. Thank you for your understanding.
Since July 2020, thanks to a photo posted on Zendaya Coleman’s instagram account, we know that Zendaya Coleman will be alongside John David Washington, one of the main characters in a feature film entitled Malcolm & Marie. This Netflix production became a reality in the eyes of the public when, on January 8, the famous streaming platform broadcasts via youtube and other official accounts, the trailer of the film directed by Sam Levinson. Following their divine performances on the big and small screens, respectively in Euphoria and Tenet, Zendaya & John have since became two of Hollywood’s rising and promising stars. And here they are today, as Malcolm & Marie.
Synopsis : « When filmmaker Malcolm (John David Washington) and his girlfriend Marie (Zendaya), return home from a movie premiere and await his film’s critical response, the evening takes a turn as revelations about their relationship surface, testing the couple’s love.« (netflix)
ACTORS & EDITING
Predictable, the only two actors on the screen, who I doubt it’s still necessary to present them, are insanely great. Every emotion is well transcribed on the screen. They are fair, beautiful and outstanding. What I liked the most about John David’s performance is his gestures and his facial expressions. The way occupies space, his movements. Let me tell you, I watched this film twice in english. And what is noticeable in the v.o, which is not in the french version, its’ Zendaya’s elocution and ease. She really impressed me, and I know how much challenging film was for her.
However, I noticed a tiny snag, which is not really one but I’ll tell you what it is about. I unfortunately only watched the very first episode of Euphoria (don’t blame me too much, I’ll remedy to the situation), and Marie vaguely reminded me of Rue. On one hand, I think it’s too bad for two characters played by the same person and whose screen released are so close together, to be this similar. I’m not talking much about their personality, but about the backgrounds of Rue and Marie. But on the other hand, if she has pass the casting, then it’s normal that she was chosen. In any case, seeing them both, John David and Zendaya, starring in a the brand new romantic drama by netflix, really made my day.
SCRIPT & SCENARIO
During the entire movie, my attention was directed to their next word, the next sentence, the next sound, the next music, the next tears… What’s next ?! I need to know, man! We can here through the script that not a comma where placed randomly. Their speech are so meaningful and punchy. The dialogues are very smooth and well thinking. I love it so much ! You know what the script made me think about ? Podcast. But not random podcast. What I mean is that I could had easily not watch the movie and still could I imagine them and there motion across the house. Did the film just created a trend ? « Podcast film ».
That said, the script goes hand in hand with the image. It is raw, intimist, and full of meaning. Sincerely, I could had mute this film, and still understand perfectly what they are saying to each other, just by watching them be. Isn’t that too cool?! Malcolm and Marie is both, a silent movie and a podcast movie.
IMAGES & MUSIQUES
I lied up in the article. There is a third character : Music. It present from beginning to the end, and if there is no music, Malcolm who takes over and starts humming and dancing. The music’s choice is so good. The songs arrive at the right moment and of course contain the right lyrics compatible with the mood of the scene which is going. What Marie and Malcolm think or feel, but are too afraid to say, music does it for them.
Each shot looks like an full high definition photograph. Woaw, it is so mesmerizing look at. I’m not going to lie, I’m not quite sure what led Sam Levinson to choose black and white for this movie, but it looks divine. From my point of view, I find that it makes the film much more intimist and it also allows you to have a better focus on the dialogue and actions. The rhythm is really good. I really like the sliding effect at the beginning of the film. You know, the one that allows you to see each character placed in a different room, without any cut in the editing, like some r&b clips at the time (here, I’m thinking of Brandy and Monica’s song The boy is mine).
« I DID NOT MEAN TO GIVE ALL THAT AWAY. » – Marie
« But life is beautiful. Because we fucking did it! « Did what? « I wrote and directed and premiered a movie…« . From beginning to end, I never been on Marie’s or Malcolm’s side. I was listening to their arguments, witnessed the blame and resentment being thrown on the table, but not once I ever tempted to vilify either of them. I just listened to what they had to say, curious to see where all of this will lead them. It shows the story of Marie & Malcolm, but it actually tells the story of many couples, maybe all of them.
The only thing which is not really positive I have to say, it’s that the age gape between Zendaya and John David, may have in my opinion worked against the alchemy between them on screen. Don’t get me wrong and bear with me please because I am not a professional film critic, I juste adore cinema, but I had this feeling. Like, they were individually super and together too but I just felt like there were something’s missing.
Malcolm & Marie, deals with the place we give to ourselves in our own couple but also about the place our partner is willing to give us. Because love not just affect our love life, it can upside down our whole life, and even our professional life. This movie remind me of Mariage Story. I don’t know if you’ve already watch it. It’s that masterful film starring Scarlett Johansson and Adam Driver, which is also available on netflix and which I definitely recommend you to watch. Some of the lines are as raw, vivid and hurtful as in Noah Baumbach’s film. The difference with Sam Levinson’s film is that it’s a completely different dimension and atmosphere because there are only two characters during 1h46 of film. And I love this concept of tragedy claustrophobic atmosphere film.
I love how Sam gracefully slide some very interesting political debates into the dialogues. Is my skin color [black] political ? I’ll let you answer that question. Everyone has their own opinion on this but the most important thing is to be aware and informed of how the world perceives us and how can we upgrade.
Tell me in the comment section if you enjoyed this film and what is your favorite part. Thank you for reading, guys !