Romantic drama, ‘Malcolm & Marie’ is a whirlwind of emotions

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Anika Brown

Let the despair of a toxic, yet stunning relationship tug at your heart strings. Watch “Malcolm & Marie,” now streaming on Netflix.

Sitting rightfully at number two on the Netflix top ten list, Netflix original “Malcolm & Marie” is everything a romantic drama should be. Released on Feb. 5, the film was instantly nominated for a Golden Globe and Screen Actors Guild awards.

Within the span of one long and emotional night, characters Malcolm (John David Washington) and Marie (Zendaya) experience an intensely raw and insightful perspective of such a difficult, yet stunning relationship.

The story follows the couple returning home from Malcolm’s movie premiere and after-party. Marie realizes that he thanked everyone but her for his movie: which was based off of Marie’s life as a recovering addict. As Marie unravels because of their strained relationship and Malcolm’s overpowering narcissism, the two face a revelation in their partnership.

Shot entirely in black-and-white, “Malcolm & Marie” was as simplified as cinematography gets, especially having a cast of two. But, the simplicity of the visuals made the dialogue and tension even more captivating to experience. Throughout the film, the lovers spend the night in a completely glass house, creating a visual of the exposure and lack of privacy people have in the industry.

However, the film did get an endless amount of backlash from top film critics, such as CNN. “[It was] a one-long monologue that gave viewers a headache,” Brian Lowry said.

As a film lover myself, I disagree with that statement. Yes, the dialogue did somewhat feel extensive, but it fit with the theme incredibly well. As I watched the film, it never began to drag, rather it was a genuine and candid look into the pain and heartache in a relationship.

“Malcolm & Marie” is not a love story by any means; the film is a twisted and toxic portrayal of love and passion in the glamorous Hollywood life. This film is an eye-opening experience, witnessing the realistic heartbreak of addiction that affects a young woman and self-destructive egotism of a skilled director.

As Malcolm says “Cinema doesn’t need a message, it needs to have heart and electricity.”

Despite the backlash and criticism it has faced, “Malcolm & Marie” is a heartbreaking and relevant picture one must see. My personal rating for “Malcolm & Marie” is 7.4/10.