‘Malcolm and Marie’ explores toxic relationships


By Antonya Frederick

Special to the Voice

Actors John David Washington and Zendaya star in the romantic drama "Malcolm and Marie" that premiered January 29, 2021 on Netflix.

The film, which was written, produced and directed by Sam Levison, is 106 minutes long. It was shot in two weeks after a two-week quarantine. During this period, they made all of their preparations, practicing their lines in the parking lot. The film takes place in a unique caterpillar home in Carmel, California.

Both stars have been criticized for how it takes aim at film critics. Malcolm, as portrayed by Washington, is best described as self-centered and obnoxious, the one person who always makes everything about themselves. In this case, it is Marie's (Zendaya) life story that he uses and then refuses to give her credit for it.

He can't stand it when someone he purports to love is not 100 percent supportive of his work. Malcolm rants about the reviews on his film, complaining about critics who place racial and political context on basically everything black people do, especially in film.

Marie eventually tells him why she is upset, namely, he failed to thank her for using her life story as a plot. They go on and on all night yelling at each other disputing their differences bringing up past issues and relationships.

In many ways, it may seem like your typical toxic relationship argument. Why should we be so interested in this story?

Their performance was amazing! It feels as though you are right there with them. So real and uncut. Zendaya proves that she can definitely get rowdy when needed. The film's score was composed by Labrinth, a British rapper and songwriter, who also composed music for Zendaya's other film "Euphoria."

Marcel Rev is the cinemaphotographer behind the reliance on black and white visuals in the film. Many people may not be used to the black and white gesture in 2021, but it gives off this steamy and dark sense of environment, which works and adds to the movie, which had a $2.5 million production budget. Netflix reportedly paid $30 million for the rights to the film.

Antonya Frederick is a mass communications major, who calls Orlando, Florida, home.