Malcolm & Marie Movie Review: What a cruel movie this is. At one point this is an emotional rollercoaster ride that will move you. On the other hand, it is indecisive, cringy, and really really slow. The potential of this movie was limitless. It could have been anything, but in the end, it turned out to be a failed attempt. The movie is still good, but considering it was one of the most awaited movies of 2021, Malcolm and Marie felt flat. It had the potential to be one of the Top movies on Netflix, but it’s not and that is saying something. I think the problems lied in the basic structure of the movie itself. The movie was made in the lockdown in just 5 days. With the lack of resources the people involved did the best they could.


Malcolm and Marie is not a love story drama in any way, it is the aftermath of a love story. This movie shows what happens when two emotionally broken people are in love with each other. The main problem with the movie was its length and monologues. I mean, just hear those monologues. Some of them never end. In a nutshell, this movie is just two beautiful people shouting at each other throughout the movie. There are so many problems in the movie premise, from its dialogues to constant racial slurs. John Washington’s character mentions racism throughout the movie, but in hindsight is a racist himself. 

Malcolm & Marie Movie Review

The movie starts off promising. The first 10 minutes of the movie are amazing and set the pace for the rest of it. I don’t know what happened from down there. The monologues kept getting bigger and bigger and sometimes irrelevant. Everything about this movie was on point,  the acting, the directing, the cinematography, the music, the only let down was the writing. Be it dialogues or the plot. I mean the plot is simple and there is nothing special about it. But the dialogues are the main thing that really let the movie down. It felt like Sam Levinson was ranting on his critics that give bad ratings to his movies. It was like he was talking through the characters. And when you have two people fighting for the whole length of the movie, it will be bad. 

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The plot of the movie is as simple as it can get. What starts as a simple fight between a couple over a minor issue turns into a drastic fight involving both of their past. The script is simple but Sam tried to make it more clever than it can handle. The irrelevant edginess doesn’t do any favor to the movie. What could have been an emotional rollercoaster suffered because of it. Now, it doesn’t mean that the plot was bad. It was everything you can ask for in this movie. But it gets repetitive after a while. Just looking at the fighting for two hours straight and that too with meaningless monologues is too much to ask for. 


Now, this might be the strongest point of this movie. Zendaya and John David Washington gave the best performances of their career. John has given some stellar performances previously like Tenet, Monster and Men, The Old Man and the Gun, but ou of all John David Washington Movies this performance really stands out. The main standout performer was Zendaya for real. She shut her critics for good this time. Everyone who said that she can’t act needs to watch this movie. Because she acted in this movie and she acted really good. If only the script was a little bit in their favor and didn’t force them to speak nonsense non-stop, this would have gone down in the history books. 


John David Washington played a character of a director whose movies have been criticized and he thinks that is because he is black. The character of Malcolm is complex but so simple at the same time. He has two sides just like all of us. He is an egoistic toxic masculine man that thinks he has been discriminated against. And on the other side, his emotional being takes over where he just wants Marie to listen to him. John portrayed both sides beautifully. The expression on his face was surreal. He didn’t miss a beat for a single second. It felt like Malcolm was more of Levinson himself. Sam tried to portray him on the screen to rant against everyone who has criticized him in the past.

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Meanwhile, Zendaya played the character of an overlooked girlfriend. In both of the characters, she was the one with better depth. It was obvious because she was a better character as she was free from Sam’s shadow. Zendaya played the role of Marie perfectly. In a way, she overshadowed the performance of John and that is saying something. Her ranting somewhat made sense and she delivered those perfectly. Her expressions were perfect. The way she delivered those monologues were moving. If just the monologues were a bit short. I know, I mention monologues again and again but they were really long. We all should see Zendaya’s new movies with this performance of her in mind. She has really put on a hell of a show. 

Malcolm & Marie Movie Cinematography 

What I said about the cast being the strongest point of the movie, I take it back. The direction was the strongest point of the movie. Sam’s writing might be dodgy but his direction work is stellar. Out of all the Top movies on Netflix, this movie’s camerawork was best. The black and white tone of the movie worked in its favor somehow. There is a saying that actors are only as good as the director wants them to be. And Sam helped both of the actors to achieve their best and show it on the screen as well. He captured every single emotion that mattered without delay. He didn’t put too much stress on close-up shots but he showed every single thing that mattered. It was like we are in Tarantino’s movie when it came to Zendaya’s legs shot. The cinematography was as beautiful as it could have been. 


I absolutely adored the music of Malcolm and Marie. It is definitely one of the top movies on Netflix in terms of music. It had music from all timeline. Labrinth and Jea Malone understood the movie demands and produced some gems for it. There were certain reports that said that Sam actually filmed some scenes according to the music. If that is true, hats off to all of them. This movie had Jazz, rap, classic, country, rock, and all the other genres you can think of. The music was just a backdrop at starting but slowly and slowly it took over. It increased the intensity of the fights, It gave every scene a little bit more. Both Labrinth and Jea have my heart for this amazing work. 

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Malcolm & Marie Movie Review Now, this is where the problem in this movie lies. Everything was running smoothly until Zendaya said “Do you know how disturbing it is that you can compartmentalize to such a degree that you can abuse me while eating mac and cheese?” Who talks like that? Sometimes the dialogues made a pretty serious scene dull and hilarious and that was not intentional. The scene where Malcolm calls out  “the white girl from the LA Times” specifically made sure that Sam is targeting his critics through this character. Malcolm constantly points out how the industry and racist and discriminatory, but ironically does that throughout the movie. The excessive unnecessary use of racial slurs and F-word doesn’t help that cause either. The monologues didn’t seem to end. They went on forever. We know that you got issues but please shut up for a while. 


Overall it is a case of what could have been. This movie could definitely have been one of the Top movies on Netflix, but it isn’t. It is another example of unnecessary edginess ruining a perfect movie. The plot was simple yet intriguing. Both actors gave Oscar-worthy performances, Zendaya especially. John wasn’t far behind either. It had the best camerawork we have seen in recent times. It is just the writing and dialogues that dulled down the movie. Out of all John David Washington Movies, this could have been the best movie of his career. I really can’t get my head around what to say about this movie. On one hand, it is moving and emotional and on the other hand, it is repetitive, stretched out, and bland. Maybe you all should watch it for yourself and make your own opinion about it. 

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