The Meaningless Malcolm and Marie


Photo provided by The Caltimes

Sam Levinson’s black and white film “Malcolm and Marie” stars Zendaya, who also stars in HBO’s “Euphoria” that was created by Levinson, and John David Washington, son of Denzel Washington. This never ending movie was first released in theaters on Jan. 29 and then was able to be streamed on Feb. 5. 

This movie follows Malcolm, an arrogant movie writer and director, who’s on cloud nine after returning home from his movie premier with his girlfriend, Marie, who is upset about him not thanking her in his speech. She believes his movie is based off of her life but he says she’s delusional and that instead of it being based on her, it was inspired by her, which still deserves a thank you in my book.

The whole movie consisted of Malcolm gaslighting Marie and calling her a mental patient. He would constantly mistake Marie trying to express her feelings as her trying to argue and I could understand how that could frustrate her. Each fight was as pointless as the last and it made me question if it was just both characters trying to find a way to have the last word. 

In Malcolm’s eyes, he could never be wrong and that’s what made him the worst character. He would say below the belt comments and then get upset when Marie would stick up for herself. He also used the excuse of being there for her when she was at her lowest, as if that justifies anything he’d  said or done. 

All of the arguing could’ve been over sooner if Malcolm would’ve just apologized and thanked her when they returned from the premier, like Marie explained at the end of the movie. 

The best part of the movie was the “authentic” scene, where Marie grabs a knife and asks Malcolm where the pills are. He’s lost for words, thinking that she’s completely lost it, but then Marie puts the knife down and you realize it wasn’t real and it was her trying to prove to Malcolm that she can be authentic and that she can transfer her emotions. 

Zendaya and Washington did an excellent job in playing these roles. It felt as if I was sitting next to Malcolm watching Marie tap the knife on the floor.

However, it’s hard to say if this movie is worth watching. It should’ve been a short film so that it wouldn’t have been dragged out as much as it was. Again, the acting was good and it was easy to follow, but it was also draining listening to the pair bicker for almost two hours. 

I don’t think there was a deep meaning behind this film, but it did show people that relationships can get messy and you or your partner can say anything in a moment of anger. I can’t think of anything else the audience could’ve taken from this film.

Listening to a couple, who obviously don’t love each other, argue over foolish things can be exhausting and cause viewers to lose focus. The scene with the knife is what brought me back to the movie and helped me finish the last 25 minutes of the film. 

I give this movie three stars out of five and recommend it to people who can take an hour and 46 minutes of pointless arguing.