#REVIEW: “MALCOLM & MARIE”
By Mr. Will Wong
Writer/Director Sam Levinson and Zendaya team-up once more after her Emmy-winning success with Euphoria. MALCOLM & MARIE centers on a Filmmaker, Malcolm (John David Washington) and girlfriend Marie (Zendaya) one evening after the premiere of his latest Film. Marie feels the central character is based on her, much to Malcom‘s insistence not, and she is upset that he neglected to thank her. While waiting on reviews to come in, several buried issues within their relationship come to light. They both claim the other “unstable”, but it is clear to the eye they know exactly how to push each other’s buttons, but also have that deep understanding for one another which makes it no mystery why they are together.
Written and produced completely during the pandemic, MALCOLM & MARIE is a stylish feat that depends almost entirely on the strength of its two leads. The Film views like a claustrophobic play and the couple spend much of its 106 minutes either mad at one another or picking at one another’s wounds. And get this, even when Malcolm gets a positive review, he revels in being angsty, questioning the praise and its authenticity.
Washington is ferocious and it’s a shame we don’t get to see a bit more vulnerability in him that would’ve made us root for him more. Levinson has helped Zendaya reach a sweet spot in her career, challenging her with some truly complex and thoughtfully-written characters that allow her to soar.
The Film is an interesting concept, though we wish these characters had a bit more dimension and that in all the bickering we would’ve been taken somewhere more gratifying. Netflix release MALCOM & MARIE Friday, February 5, 2021.