QUEEN & SLIM (2019)


Directed By: Melina Matsoukas
Written By: Lena Waithe
Story By: Lena Waithe & James Frey
Cinematography By: Tat Radcliffe
Editor: Pete Beaudreau 

Cast: Daniel Kaluuya, Jodie Turner-Smith, Bokeen Woodbine, Sturgill Simpson, Indya Moore, Flea, Chloe Sevingy, Benito Martinez, Jahai Di’allo


Slim and Queen’s first date takes an unexpected turn when a policeman pulls them over for a minor traffic violation. When the situation escalates, Slim takes the officer’s gun and shoots him in self-defence. Now labelled cop killers in the media, Slim and Queen feel that they have no choice but to go on the run and evade the law. When a video of the incident goes viral, the unwitting outlaws soon become a symbol of trauma, terror, grief and pain for people all across the country.

The film is very Soulful you can feel it in every scene and every character as Every shot is beautiful.

The film Tackles a bunch of different issues and doesn’t pretend to have An answer. It More exposes a variety of issues so that they can be talked about and exposed.

Not a crime movie a crime happens but they don’t go on a spree more just trying to escape and stay ahead of the cops.

The couple in the middle of all of this ends up finding love as they are forced to in a way as also all that time together getting to know one another as she is the one who is adamant about opening up even though they are In this together. Even as they seem to have different beliefs as one is more turn the other cheek positive and religious and the other is more radical.

She is the more argumentative but also the more intellectual where as he is the more spiritual his faith In god to help, heal and give him the right directions.

The cops aren’t given much dimension here, but just as in media and police procedurals and in where usually the -so called criminals aren’t given much depth only blood thirsty and cops are given a full heroic backstory in the media. So it feels right here that we stay more with the couple on the run.

Though the film feels full it would have been nice to learn more about other characters or see their stories a bit more but just as the fragmented nature of the film. Where each stop seems more episodic and gives us a different perspective. As the way they are presented it feels more like they each are ideals more than characters. They never quite completely feel fully lived in or explored at least to the limits they should to feel more complete. Even though by the end we are rooting for them to escape and love happily ever after.

That shows the power of the filmmaking that most characters feel lived in and you want to learn More. Even if our main character at times feel more like ideals made human then necessarily full characters. Sort of like a television show where the supporting characters are more interesting and the leads are more the straight people for them.

As the film goes along just as they fall For each other you fall for them. There is a comfortableness about the that towards the third act you really start to worry about them as each sign of danger you Worry will be their last and you want them To make it.

Though there is one scene at a gas station where he is trying to steal gas that makes no sense and a scene that easily could have been cut. In the end it seems law and Order doesn’t want to hear it and brings down their mighty hand before they can even have a chance to voice their reasons or exactly what happens it is left to be played out in media and in public opinion that leaves them more martyrs for a cause. Two people pulled into something that was bigger than them and never stood a chance but whose lives mattered.

The scene where they meet the teen who takes their iconic photo and then ends up misguidedly doing an action during a protest is questionable but maybe it shows that they didn’t exactly insinuate the right message or that people have a tendency to believe a message, not always the way it was intended

It also follows along in the liens of not only road movies but lovers on the run think other classics such as BADLANDS, BONNIE & CLYDE, TRUE ROMANCE only here they become lovers and find love while on the run. As they are forced into this situation.

In the end love it or hate it. You won’t soon forget it and leaves plenty to talk about.

The film also has a great soundtrack that matches the scenes and the tone of the movie. Overall the film comes off as strong. It just feels like some ingredients are missing and that some of the ingredients could have been a bit stronger.

Grade: B

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