With a minimalistic framework and a passion-fueled dialog, Netflix’s Malcolm & Marie is an emotional rollercoaster bursting with monotonous monologues and stunning Black and white, clean cut photography.
In theory, Malcolm & Marie is an instant hit. It looks good, feels good and has a somewhat sensible story with hidden layers ready to be explored. But when you peel this embellished skin-deep coating, a shallow, unidimensional narrative with exaggerated reactions is found in its place. Hollowing and festering, slowly infecting its decorated exterior and ruining its picture-perfect reputation.
Don’t get me wrong, because in spite of all of these missteps or “unintentional” mistakes, this film is still a saturated experience that some might enjoy. But let’s not kid ourselves, because even though for some reason this film is generating tons of Oscar Buzz, it only had a couple of good components working on its behalf.
For starters, Zendaya and John David Washington truly embodied the spirit of the titular characters. They both existed on polar opposites, yet they merged into one dysfunctional rhythm that bled authenticity and star quality. They conveyed an unsettling amount of discomfort and familiarity that they both lost themselves, fully, in an attempt to lavishly rekindle the lost flame of the film’s extinguished narrative.
Moving on, Malcolm & Marie’s bi-colored themes and minimalistic aesthetic aided in creating a substantially charged atmosphere where each glare, each body movement and each wavering tone implied a darker truth than the one we were excruciatingly blinded to see.
With its heart in the right place, Malcolm & Marie is an eye-gasmic feature that will stimulate your senses with its artificially approachable appeal, yet it will leave you slightly dissatisfied with its black hole of a narrative.