The new film “Malcolm & Marie,” starring John David Washington and Zendaya, leaves a lot to be desired.
The film, which is available to stream on Netflix, centers around Malcolm, played by Washington, who is a filmmaker, and Marie, portrayed by Zendaya, as the couple comes home after Malcolm’s first successful movie premiere. However, unseen tensions between the couple reach a boiling point as the two begin wondering what this movie means for their relationship.
Though it is commendable for this movie to be filmed in the middle of the coronavirus pandemic, and the actors certainly try their best given the limited material to work with, the movie still ends up being too ambitious for its own good.
The actors: Washington and Zendaya both do a good job in their performances, breathing life and character with every line and scene. They bounce off each other well, doing a great job acting as if they were a couple with a complicated past.
Cinematography: The movie was shot very well. The beginning panning shot with Washington in the kitchen was my favorite shot of the whole movie and it continues throughout the film like that.
Comedy: Though the jokes in this movie are few and far between at times, the times that the characters joke with each other is nice to see. Considering that the majority of the movie is serious and dramatic, it certainly helps to lift the movie up and reminds the audience that the tone is shifting slightly.
Repetitive: Mild Spoiler Alert The movie follows a clear pattern of escalating tensions, from the couple having a fierce end-of-the-relationship type of fight, followed by a calm reflection only to rinse and repeat. This happens multiple times in the movie, which is sad because the first fight was perfect on its own. Furthermore, it just doesn’t come off as natural for the couple because of this.
Script: The script, while good at creating tension and arguments, can quickly grow boring for anyone outside the world of cinema. A large portion of it is dedicated to analyzing cinema classics and its creators.
Disjointed: This film is for cinefiles and forgets the majority of its audience is watching it on Netflix. The black-and-white motif, which is unnecessary, along with the over-analyzation of both movies and emotions, makes this film feel like it’s trying to say so many things but ends up saying nothing at all.
Overall, I would say that this movie is very decent as a short film. For the first 30 minutes of the movie, you are invested and everything flows together perfectly. After that, things take a steady decline in quality.
Rating: Lower your expectations