If you have plans to check out Zendaya Stoermer Coleman’s latest movie Malcolm & Marie and were expecting to see her in a kiddy/teeny bopper type flick like she’s portrayed in the beginning of her career, you’ll be in for a surprise. That younger version of Zendaya was adorable in previous years, but now she’s definitely coming into her own as a grown woman in the industry.
Despite certain critics and people having had issues with adjusting to Zendaya coming into her own, controversy surrounded the 24-year-old playing the love interest of 36-year-old John David Washington. However, in the realm of acting, should that really matter? Why is that even a topic up for debate? They’re both grown, mature, and advanced actors, all of which showed throughout the beauty of their quarantined film directed by themselves and Sam Levinson.
Malcolm & Marie is not a “love story.” The black and white Netflix drama even signifies that in it’s trailer, but expresses that it is simply a story about “love.” If you’re confused about the difference between the two, I’d advise you to be prepared to analyze the in depth monologues given throughout the film. The journey takes us on an hour and 45 minute ride with Malcolm (Washington) & Marie’s (Zendaya) after a night when Malcolm achieves a massive win regarding his new film. However, everything is not as it seems on the surface of their relationship as it’s eventually revealed that their problems have never been fully addressed between each other.
What I loved about this concept is that the transparency between the two during arguments was uncomfortable because it felt so real. It was authentic. They stood in their truths regardless of how ugly it was. This movie portrayed the often true reality of relationships that require forgiveness to prosper during the worst times.
After watching the film for the first time, I literally sat in shock to take in everything I had just seen. I absolutely loved it. It made me question whether it was toxic or normal, or even if toxicity meant being real even if it was mean. It made me wonder what boundaries should be set within relationships, and even showed what a relationship can come back from after everything’s been said and done.
It wasn’t the fair style portrayal that films often try to give to show how a “love story” should be. No, it was way more than that. It was getting to the root about why you love someone and why you should stay or go. And, that simply all someone wants to hear in a relationship is that you appreciate everything they’ve done.
I definitely think that Malcolm & Marie is a film worth watching.
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By Kori Barnes, UNLV, Junior