Malcolm and Marie review– Why you shouldn’t miss it
This latest romantic movie is about Malcolm’s (John David Washington) and Marie’s (Zendaya) toxic relationship. About how a night of glory takes a tumultuous turn. ‘Malcolm and Marie‘ takes you through the entire lives of the characters in the span of a few hours, crunched in 106 minutes.
The film starts with Zendaya and John’s character coming back home after John’s movie premiere. As he drinks to celebrate more while Zendaya makes mac and cheese, her actions show how mad she is. He notices is, albeit a little late, he demands how doesn’t want to go to bed mad. That’s when things start to heat up more.
He forgot to thank her, the ‘love of his life’, in his very public speech at the same premiere. Their fight starts from here, moves on to Malcolm’s insensitivity, to Marie’s need for appreciation, to him conning her entire life story in his film, to him bringing up past relationships, to Marie giving him a taste of his own medicine by calling him ‘mediocre’, him not fighting leading back to him not thanking her.
Sam Levinson, writer-director, left the movie on a somewhat higher note. There was no proper indication if Malcolm and Marie had made up, for good. It didn’t stretch out another long monologue either. Some might comment that it shouldn’t have been stretched out either way, but each to their own, I guess.
Malcolm and Marie – the people
He seems like a self-centered character who had taken Marie for granted. Who had forgotten to appreciate what was right in front of him and acted out based on his prejudices. For instance, he cursed out the ‘white’ lady from the LA Times, even though she had given him a good review.
His lack of empathy towards Marie’s mood shows how he chalked it up to her trying to ‘ruin’ a perfect night as if she’d not been proud of his work before. He wanted her to be more lenient with her emotions and habit of holding on to things.
On the other hand, Marie is portrayed as this broken girl, who needed constant reassurance and attention from her partner. She wanted him to thank her during his speech, to fight harder for her part in his film, and to be more concerned about her life and whereabouts.
To her, that showed affection, attention, and appreciation. Just like she did to Malcolm, by praising him and pointing out how good the review really was. She pointed out his flaws while talking about how he was working on a political biopic when he claims to be the opposite.
We can see how Malcolm lashes out, every time Marie puts him in his place, and they kiss. This cycle goes on the entirety of the film, which might be a little more than repetitive for many. To me, it showed how toxic their relationship really was. Malcolm bringing up past relationships shows how much he wanted to hurt her. Marie’s thank you speech (which he expected from Malcolm) shows how much she wanted him to appreciate her.
Zendaya and John’s performance
The movie has received highly contrasting reviews regarding the plotline. Yet, the praise for the actors Zendaya and John David Washington stayed constant.
Granted that the verbal fighting throughout the film was more like monologues, they were delivered beautifully, in my opinion. The aggression and irritation that Malcolm has against the critic, seems perfect for the kind of personality John’s character has.
The dialogue delivery and action on both their parts, to me, was immaculate. From Zendaya slamming pots in a low simmering passive aggression to John actively verbally abusing her from ‘across the house eating the Mac and Cheese [SHE] made’ as if it were perfectly normal.
Zendaya’s small piece of delivery as a drug addict (showing what Malcolm missed out on by not casting her) to show authenticity sure gave me goosebumps. It also gave a glimpse of Rue (her character in Euphoria) for those unfamiliar with it.
From her crazy expression to closed-off body language as Imani (Malcolm’s film’s lead role), she sure fooled everyone, while she effortlessly slipped back into Marie’s character. The bathtub scene, where she listens to Malcolm rant and throw arguments in her face, is similarly powerful and impactful.
Simultaneously, John’s tipsy dancing around the house and losing his mind on the review was a great performance in itself. The portrayal of scary aggression with a soft compassionate side towards Marie shows Malcolm’s character’s depth.
How much he cared for Marie. The scene that stood out to me was when he tells Marie about how much he ‘just loves’ her, even though he might not need her (albeit after bringing up past girls in a heart-shaped bathtub, but you gotta follow the script, I guess).
In the end, these reasons (and snippets) show you only a fraction of what the film is like and about. Do watch it and let us know what you think of it.
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