Spoilers for Netflix’s Malcolm & Marie will be found below.
It’s safe to say that a lot of people watched Netflix’s Malcolm & Marie, starring Zendaya and John David Washington, over the weekend. We may never know exactly how many people, since Netflix kind-of reveals their own numbers at will, but it’s been sitting at the top of the Most Popular list for days. A lot of critics aren’t wild about the movie because it bashes critics, but I didn’t mind that aspect too much. Sure, I turned down the volume during Malcolm’s longest tirade about how misunderstood he feels by one writer, and he takes himself way too seriously, but in a way, this is also a movie that roasts self-important artists. And the biggest roaster of Malcolm turned out to be Marie. Granted, he dealt a lot of harsh verbal blows to her as well, and the movie felt like one enormously overwrought argument (because that’s what it was) that was exhausting. Yet it also felt slightly therapeutic to watch the knife twist, so to speak.
Yes, that knife scene was great, but more to the point: who among us hasn’t had a circular, hours-long argument with a significant other that goes nowhere, but obviously, someone won the thing? The film doesn’t make the winner explicit, but while speaking with Zendaya for Interview Magazine, director and writer Sam Levinson (who’s also the Euphoria creator) answered the question:
“Who wins? I think Marie wins. Who’s right? I think Marie’s right. I think that’s evident in the final scene and that 20-minute monologue. It essentially grounds the entire movie in her perspective. But I think at the same time, the film is this Socratic dialogue between these two characters — about relationships, about filmmaking, about art, about partnership, about acknowledgement. And my hope is that people leave with whatever interpretation makes sense to their life. Whatever they see in the relationship that they want to take away from it, they will. Is the relationship healthy or toxic? I have no idea. I go back and forth on it.”
Damn straight, she won. Marie would have won even harder if she’d left in the middle of the night, but Malcolm thought (for at least a few minutes) that she left, so that might be good enough. And maybe he’ll give her a writing credit on that film of his after lifting her life story and forgetting to thank her at the premiere. It’s the least he could do!
(Via Interview Magazine)