I normally refuse to cry during movies. I don’t like getting attached to fictional characters and I’d rather do anything else in the world than watch an old-timey black and white movie.
I hate love stories, or rather the inability to find love in a story and not in real life. I hate the idea of heartbreak being portrayed across a screen almost as much as I have hated living it.
I hate all of these things so much and this is why I find it so unbelievable that I love “Malcom and Marie.”
“Malcolm and Marie” is set in present day but the cinematography will have you feeling oddly reminiscent of an older time, a simpler time, a better time—even though the basis of this film is angry, sad and painful at times to watch.
I feel the need to brag on every part of this film. The credits rolling at the beginning of the film? Genius. Casting Zendaya as the lead for Marie? Brilliant. James Brown songs playing on the soundtrack? Beautiful. Cinematography in black and white? Oddly trendy but also beautiful. John David Washington as Malcolm? Also brilliant.
This film contains many topics but I feel that the topis aren’t the point. This film is about the growing pains of a relationship. It is about an argument between a girlfriend and a boyfriend. It is about a film and who the film is based on and why the film is good and why the critics are wrong about why it is good.
This film is about art. It is not the cheesy rom-com that gets traffic and everyone loves and then becomes ingrained into pop culture. This is not the late night comedy that you watch because you can’t sleep and the movie is only actually funny after midnight.
This is a drama. This is a drama that will evoke the emotions of both Malcolm and Marie and I don’t think you have to be an empath to feel it. Malcolm is an artist and Marie is too; they are both artists crafting their relationship.
“Malcolm and Marie'' makes you feel like you are hanging out with your best friend and her boyfriend at their house, and when they start arguing you can’t leave. It feels like you are in the room witnessing every cross word and happy moment. It is terrifying and it is also beautiful.
Artists are complicated people. All of us are damaged in a way and it is arguably why artists make such great contributions to society. When pain is depicted, you only feel pain if the screenwriter has felt that kind of pain, or hurt or trauma.
I mentioned before that I do not willfully watch love stories—and it’s true for the most part I would rather not. That is why it is so important for me to tell you that if you do love rom-coms, this is not your movie.
“Malcolm and Marie” is not a love story it is a story about love. It is not about falling in love or even really about staying in love, it is just about love.
It is about the negative parts about the relationship between Malcolm and Marie. It is about hurt and pain.
I lied. I do cry during movies. I cry when the main character of my favorite television show is killed off. I cry a lot when watching magic unfold on screen. I do not cry to friends and I certainly do not cry to the mainstream cookie cutter christmas movies. I cry when the art is really beautiful. As an artist, I appreciate art and I am moved by good art. “Malcolm and Marie” is good art.
“Malcolm and Marie” is now streaming on Netflix.