Relevant and thrilling
- Queen and Slim review by JB
I'm writing this a few weeks after the death of George Floyd and the reignition of the BLM movement; something that becomes increasingly relevant throughout this deeply affecting and horribly watchable movie that takes a cue from Bonnie and Clyde but is ultimately unique and utterly, sadly, modern. If this movie came out just a few months later, it would have, I'm sure, received the attention it deserved.
Queen (Jodie Turner-Smith) and Slim (Daniel Kaluuya) have a first date never to forget, after they get stopped by a police officer on the way back from the diner. Due to a series of misunderstandings, triggered by the officer's racist hostility, Queen and Slim flee from the scene after shooting the officer dead with his own gun. The chase between the law and the almost-couple is on, with the pair becoming outlaw heroes. But do they want to be?
Writer Lena Waithe combines thriller, romance and social commentary equally and consistently throughout and it's delivered with urgency by director Melina Matsoukas. The performance by Daniel Kaluuya is right on the money. Has he got the most expressive eyes in contemporary cinema? Probably, right? Lesser known (for now), but also excellent is Jodie Turner Smith. She has a piercing intelligence that grounds the movie and brings out the pain and anger in the script.
It's a real journey of a movie that ends in a situation that shouldn't really ever happen. Racism will, I hope, one day die. But Queen and Slim - the movie and the spirit of the characters - will live forever.
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