A director and his girlfriend’s relationship is tested after they return home from his movie premiere and await critics’ responses.
‘Malcolm & Marie’ is an acting showcase for Zendaya and John David Washington, the warring couple at the centre of this drama from Sam Levinson. The film is about the titular couple, who come home from a night out at Malcolm’s film premiere and find the combination of drink and long held animosity brings up some deep rooted issues within their relationship. It is a very stagey set up, set entirely in their home, yet I felt the energy and electricity of the performances and the writing transcended the setting and I thought this was a really immersive and engaging movie.
Malcolm has became successful and is a bit arrogant, whilst Marie is resentful and a bit jealous, largely going back to Malcolm casting another actress to play the leading part in the aforementioned movie, despite Marie’s life being the basis for the character. He feels like he saved her from her past problems with drugs; she feels he holds that over there. These issues are raised through lots of lengthy monologues, which some may find a little intense, but which I personally found well written and well delivered by the two talented performers. I’m sure anyone who is familiar with drinking lots of alcohol can relate to the urge to put the world to rights after several too many drinks, and as well as the personal dramas that unfold, ‘Malcolm & Marie’ covers a range of themes including the film industry and society in general, particularly with respect to the impact its had on their lives.
I suspect some people will find this film to be pretentious and it definitely is to an extent, but I don’t mind a bit of pretension when it’s as well crafted and as interesting as ‘Malcolm & Marie’ is. Sam Levinson is the creator of HBO’s excellent TV drama series ‘Euphoria’, which also stars Zendaya, and the recent specials of that series has shown his ability to get good performances out of his actors and actresses. In the case of ‘Malcolm & Marie’, Zendaya and John David Washington are absolutely captivating (one scene of ‘acting’ within the narrative from Zendaya is incredible), and at the very least, ‘Malcolm & Marie’ is worth seeing for them.
Directed By: Sam Levinson
Starring: Zendaya and John David Washington