The first film written, founded, and produced by Hollywood during the COVID-19 pandemic, Malcolm & Marie has a fairly simple narrative in the 106 minutes duration of his narrative presentation.
Director Malcolm Elliott (John David Washington ) is said to have just returned from celebrating the premiere of a film he wrote and directed with his girlfriend, Marie Jones (Zendaya). After midnight and feeling hungry, Marie Jones then chose to cook macaroni and cheese for her lover to enjoy. While waiting for the dishes to cook, Malcolm Elliott and Marie Jones engage in a roll of dialogue about the film industry, social conditions, and, of course, their five-year romantic relationship.
As a film that focuses entirely on the ups and downs of the interactions between two characters that fill the entire storyline of the film, Levinson is able to present Malcolm & Marie as a presentation that feels so intimate through the quality of the production order. The choice to present the film in black and white through Marcell Rév’s cinematographic arrangement fully supports the narrative atmosphere, both to give a complete focus on the dialogue that exists between the two characters and to form a more personal image of the two characters.
Many of the scenes in Malcolm & Marie are filled with popular jazz and blues songs, from Down and Out in New York City. James Brown’s, Dionne Warwick’s Get Rid of Him, to OutKast’s Liberation with Cee-Lo. Most of the songs feature a line of lyrics describing the situations of many scenes in the film. However, many moments felt even stronger when Malcolm & Marie preferred to let Labrinth’s musical compositions take control of the atmosphere.
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Then what about the quality of Malcolm & Marie’s own storytelling? Levinson styled the “battle” of words that took place between the characters Malcolm Elliott and Marie Jones like a boxing match with each character delivering their punch or punch through a series of screams after shouts. Pretty tiring.
It is easy to feel that Levinson formed two characters in the storyline of Malcolm & Marieas a representative of his various thoughts as a filmmaker, how he reacts to film critics, to his response to film criticism which is often political when it comes to films produced by groups of people of color – although this certainly feels strange when considering that Levinson is a white filmmaker. Through the “screams” of Malcolm Elliott’s character, Levinson wants to voice that cinema is not about conveying a “message” but conveying a touch of emotion, that cinema is not about portraying reality but producing a real impression of a situation, and that not everything should be given much more thought. deep.
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However, it is clearly quite difficult to take Levinson’s thoughts seriously when he channels them through the screams after the screams that come from a director who considers himself a very talented person, able to spit out any references to filmmakers or classic films, and is not a person. the figure of a character that can be considered pleasant overall.
Levinson’s dialogue and delivery choices are often pretentious and come from a collection of bitter feelings rather than appearing as a warm and sharp presentation that is able to hit deeply. This image also then traps Washington’s appearance so that it feels so exaggerated in his appearance. This weakness is still exacerbated by the story plot that seems to exist as a repetition without ever being able to develop more fully. MaybeMalcolm & Marie is more effective when presented as a film with a much shorter story duration.
The best element that emerged in Malcolm & Marie’s presentation clearly came from the chemistry that emerged between Washington and Zendaya. While Levinson allowed the conflicted romance in the storyline of his film to go on without his impression and message about the film industry, Malcolm & Marie actually comes with a pretty striking emotional touch. Zendaya, in particular, is able to present the figure of Marie Jones as a fragile character with a dark past and tries to (finally) confront her lover who has always subordinated his existence.
It is easy to side with Marie Jones when faced with an arrogant character like Malcolm Elliott but, more than that, Zendaya’s appearance gives a character that he plays an emotional layer that is so effective in making him a humanist figure. Malcolm & Marie, finally, it ended as a presentation that would be remembered for the space given to the magnificent acting performances of the two actors rather than as a medium for Levinson to monologue about the film industry which was then executed superficially and ended up being grueling.