Malcolm & Marie
|Malcolm & Marie|
|Directed by||Sam Levinson|
|Written by||Sam Levinson|
|Edited by||Julio C. Perez IV|
It was released on February 5, 2021, by Netflix.
Writer-director Malcolm Elliott (John David Washington) returns home from his film premiere with his girlfriend Marie Jones (Zendaya). Malcolm eagerly anticipates the critical reviews following the emotional audience response from the screening. When he notices Marie looking displeased, he urges her to tell him what is bothering her. Initially reluctant to start a fight in the middle of the night, she tells him that she is upset that she was not thanked or acknowledged in his speech at the premiere.
Marie believes that she is the basis of his film, a drama about a struggling black female drug addict named Imani, as she herself was a drug addict when they met. Malcolm dismisses her accusations, claiming that Imani is not based on her and is an amalgamation of different people. Marie insists that he would not have authentically portrayed Imani's struggles with drug abuse and addiction if they were not together. Malcolm believes that Marie is overreacting, claiming that, because she quit acting years ago, she is jealous of the actress who played Imani and that she is projecting her personal problems on him and his film. Marie affirms her position on his lack of acknowledgment and calls his talents "mediocre". While Marie is taking a bath, Malcolm describes to her the different women he had relationships with, who inspired the character of Imani, stating that only Imani's feelings of hopelessness were based on Marie. After drying herself from the bath, she responds by playing Dionne Warwick's song "Get Rid of Him" on her phone, while the two are sitting silently outside.
Heading back inside, Malcolm then finds and reads the first critic review posted about his film. Despite the review being positive, he rants about the white female critic's political interpretation of his film as he did not intend it to be political. He laments that film critics are focusing too much on his black male identity and projecting politics into their interpretations, rather than judging him for his own merits. Marie playfully belittles his angry reaction to the positive review and his inability to take criticism, before the two appear to be bonding again following their arguments.
Before the two can begin to have sex, Marie provokes him when she asks why he did not cast her as Imani, believing that she would have brought a vulnerability and authenticity to the character that could have made the film better. After they angrily accuse each other of being egotistical, Marie then brings out a knife and acts out a scene as Imani to demonstrate authenticity, scaring but impressing Malcolm over how convincing she is. The two go to their bedroom and argue once more, until Marie lectures him about him taking her for granted and his lack of acknowledgement of how their genuine love for each other inspired the film.
Their arguing finally stops as they go to bed without saying anything to each other, only thanking each other before they sleep. Malcolm wakes up alone in bed in the morning daylight. He finds Marie alone outside and joins her as they look across the distance, leaving the fate of their relationship unknown.
In September 2020, Netflix bought the movie's distribution rights for $30 million, paying a higher price than companies such as HBO, A24 and Searchlight Pictures. The film was released on February 5, 2021.
- Fleming Jr, Mike (September 13, 2020). "Netflix Closes $30 Million Deal For 'Malcolm & Marie' Off Promo; Sam Levinson Lockdown-Shot Drama Stars Zendaya & John David Washington: Toronto". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved September 13, 2020.
- Feinberg, Scott (November 18, 2020). "Netflix's 'Malcolm & Marie,' With Zendaya and John David Washington, Drops Into Oscar Race (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved November 18, 2020.