By Grace Tevaseu, Correspondent
“Malcom and Marie” is a unique Netflix drama on the tensions in a toxic romance. With a black and white aesthetic, the 2021 film pays homage to Mike Nichols’ “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Wolf?” from 1966. “Malcom and Marie” is essentially an hour and forty-six minute long, hostile argument between a couple, who are both dragging heavy baggage into their relationship. The film opened with Malcom and Marie returning home after a big night out at Malcom’s film premiere. The fighting started initially with Malcom’s exclusion of Marie in all the people he thanked in his acceptance speech earlier that night. Hence, let the arguing commence!
Many a times I had to come back to the movie after becoming bored with the endless loop of fighting. I found myself waiting for other characters to join the film, or at least for the setting to change just once. It made me wonder if this was an artistic choice or a forced alteration due to the restrictions of filming during a pandemic. Anyway, as the couple’s bickering increased to direct attacks on their messed-up histories of drug addiction and racial privilege, I kept asking myself, why doesn’t Marie just leave? Is their love worth all the heartache and headaches?
“Malcom and Marie” left me utterly confused and dissatisfied. Was this movie a creative masterpiece that went over my head or an overly dramatized dud of a film? The ending was supposedly a calm resolution after all the movie’s turmoil; however, I was left thinking, how long will this peace last? It was a cyclic process of fight and makeup that I immediately grew tired of. The film’s overtly sophisticated language did pique my interest though. On numerous occasions, I had to rewind the segment to hear all the intelligently worded quips they hurled at each other, from any and all rooms of their house. I would feel bad if Malcom and Marie have neighbors.
Because of my general overall confusion yet recognition of the film’s unique perspective and appreciation of Zendaya’s acting, I rate this Netflix Original a 3 out of 5 stars.