‘Queen & Slim’ Review By B. Gunn
Remember in “New Jack City” when Nino Brown and G-Money were on that rooftop, and G pleaded with Nino to make it like it was, but Nino replied, “I’m on the run, G. Things can never go back like it was?” Well, in the new movie “Queen & Slim”, life as they know it will drastically change, from free to fugitive. Am I my brother’s keeper?
“Queen & Slim” stars Daniel Kaluuya, Jodie Turner-Smith, Bokeem Woodbine, and Flea.
While driving home after an awkward first date, they are pulled over by an officer with a little too much aggression. After an all-too-often scenario happens, a struggle ensues, a cop is killed, and two young adults will soon become America’s most-wanted.
Many films and television shows have used similar narratives to right a wrong or expose police brutality. Lena Waithe writes a tale that abandons the norm by focusing on the main character’s journey instead of innocence or guilt. Under the direction of newcomer Melina Matsoukas, “Queen & Slim” becomes more than your average fugitive film. It is the embodiment of black life.
Kaluuya and Turner-Smith perform at a maximum level. Their chemistry mixes better than Vanilla Coke! Imagine having to depend on one another, barely knowing each other, in a life-or-death situation. Their relationship grows simultaneously with their own individuality. Highs, lows, mistakes, and accomplishments are all explored in this film.
Woodbine as Uncle Earl creates even more layers. His backstory may be the most intriguing. No surprises that the cast is on point, we already figured that, but the story the cinematography tells is this movie’s treasure.
Every location, every home, every store, every winding road reminds you of your neighborhood. What some call inner-city and the “black part of town” is captured on camera as beautiful but vanishing works of art. If we are Kings and Queens, our architectural designs are palaces.
The action in “Queen & Slim” is immediate. The plot wastes no time. It is so swift that it robs some characters of adequate backstory.
Also, while the main actors give amazing performances, a few featured actors give us too much. In other words, they’re extra. Some are overly dramatic while some try to be stand-up-comedy funny and lessen the impact of the scenes. The key to landing a successful comedic or dramatic scene is to NOT be obvious.
Some scenes are unnecessary and lend no value but fortunately, there aren’t too many of these moments, so the film’s integrity isn’t compromised.
With action, suspense, an unforgettable 3rd act, and a nostalgic soundtrack, I’m co-signing “Queen & Slim” to the fullest!
You may not believe in Santa Claus, but you will believe in Queen and Slim.
Like Beyoncé said, “I don’t care if I’m on the run, just as long as I’m next to you…”
Watch The Trailer:
Queen & Slim opens in theaters nationwide on Wednesday, November 27.
Do you plan to see the film?