THIS REVIEW is brought to you by KATHY KAISER @matineechat.com
“Relentlessly enveloped in turmoil the whole way through, MALCOLM & MARIE brought way too much angst and conflict to the screen for me” … Kathleen Kaiser, Matineechat.com
MALCOLM & MARIE – Rated R – 1 hr. 45 mins.
DIRECTOR / WRITER: Sam Levinson
STARRING: John David Washington and Zendaya
Straight off of Executive Producing “Pieces of a Woman” for Netflix and continuing to Write and Direct “Euphoria” for Hulu and HBO MAX, it seems that Sam Levinson has a few more ideas up his sleeve, as we meet Malcolm (John David Washington), just arriving home from his own movie premiere, obsessed with what a white LA times movie Critic, has just said about his latest creation. Caught up in the seething discontentment that is filling the room, his girlfriend Marie (Zendaya) is trying to talk her boyfriend down off the ledge, although she has her own issues with what took place throughout this evening’s events too. Now embroiled in all that is wrong with their lives, and their totally dysfunctional relationship too, Malcolm & Marie find that their longevity as a couple, as this night continues, might also be short-lived…
Having viewed Washington’s fabulous performance in 2020’s TENET earlier this year, I was super excited to view his next one too, playing opposite the extremely talented Zendaya, in Netflix’s newly released MALCOLM & MARIE…But it saddens me too, as I now have to convey, my excitement faded just as quickly as it started, as having to live out this particular night in the life of one Movie Director, and his favorite girl, became rather painful not 5 minutes into this film. The constant barrage of in-depth analysis over one aspect of their lives, or another, without truly coming to any conclusions, literally became exhausting. And Levinson’s need to put a color on the skin of the Critic in question, to entice that this woman had a different perception of the film in question, due to her lack of knowledge of “the life of a black person” just ended up making my blood boil. I know, I know, it’s just a movie, but in the year 2021, I would hope that we can soon get beyond the need to enhance a constant division between races, as I personally love them all – just ask my black, yellow and red skinned Friends! But I must say too, that as performances go, both John David Washington and Zendaya did manage somehow to put good performances on screen with Levinson’s material, as I did continue to view, hoping that at any point that this film might head into a much more desirable direction, but when it was all said and done, Malcolm & Marie just ended up being one of the most perverse and anxiety ridden viewing experiences I’ve had, in quite some time.
1 out of 5 Stars