Malcolm and Marie and the fight that never ended


Lainey Devlin

In the newest movie from Sam Levinson, stars Zendaya and John David Washington partake in a fight that seemingly never ends. Both of their acting performances showcase extreme talent, however the plot leaves the viewer wanting more.

Lainey Devlin, Copy Editor

Malcolm and Marie, directed by Sam Levinson, stars Zendaya and John David Washington in a gorgeously shot movie about a couple’s argument after an award show. Regarded by many as a work of art, the black and white movie contains a night long argument and a few steamy scenes within almost two hour run time. The borderline controversial film inspired disputes between film critiques while they digest the admirable cinematography paired with the unfortunate plot. 

The movie starts with Malcolm walking in the house, accompanied by a very disgruntled Marie, celebrating his success at an award show they attended together that night. The viewer quickly realizes Marie’s unhappiness, portrayed beautifully by Zendaya, and wonders what could have gone wrong at the show. As Malcolm continues to flaunt his success, he walks around the apartment boasting about his award and his status as a director. While he walks around euphorically oblivious, Marie pours herself a drink and provides a reality check without partaking in his celebration. 

The movie takes the viewer back in time and almost transforms the setting into the old Hollywood era with the black and white color scheme and Marie’s gorgeous glittering dress. The light fragments beaming off of her dress stiffly contrast her mood but add to the visual appeal of the movie. Throughout the film, the camera provides incredible insight to the mood on screen and depicts the Caterpillar House, their only filming location, in Carmel, California as exquisite and alluring. Unfortunately the plot lacks entertainment value to an extent not salvageable by aesthetics. 

The beautifully shot movie continues to show the progression of the conflict over Malcolm neglecting to mention Marie in his acceptance speech for an award he won from a movie based on her life and her struggle with addiction. The fight appears never-ending as the viewer wonders how they seemingly fight all night. The first 20 minutes of the film, filled with riveting banter and beautifully done monologues, excite the viewer but precede what seems like a watered down version of it for the next 85 minutes. 

While Zendaya and John David Washington’s acting skills shine through in the black and white format, the plot of the movie ends as mundane as the color scheme. The never-ending fight eventually bores the viewer and implores them to skip through the rest of the movie. The quarantine-produced film demonstrates a COVID safe filming practice by only starring two actors and filming in only one location, but unfortunately lacks in entertainment value and plot substance. 


Chant’s Grade: C+