Alton Worley II | Staff Writer
Photo Credit: Unsplash User Dmjdenise
African-American films in recent years have made their mark in Hollywood, from Jordan Peele’s Get Out to Us, these movies have shaken up society and started a conversation.
Queen & Slim, from the minds of Emmy Award winner Lena Waithe and Grammy Award winner Melina Matsoukas, is no different.
According to queenandslim.com: “While on a forgettable first date together in Ohio, a black man (Daniel Kaluuya of Get Out) and a black woman (Jodie Turner-Smith, in her first starring feature-film role), are pulled over for a minor traffic infraction. The situation escalates, with sudden and tragic results, when the man kills the police officer in self-defense.”
The movie website’s description continues: “Terrified and in fear for their lives, the man, a retail employee, and the woman, a criminal defense lawyer, are forced to go on the run. But the incident is captured on video and goes viral, and the couple unwittingly becomes a symbol of trauma, terror, grief, and pain for people across the country. As they drive, these two unlikely fugitives will discover themselves and each other in the direst and desperate of circumstances and will forge a deep and powerful love that will reveal their shared humanity and shape the rest of their lives.”
While this movie is fiction, the realism behind it is something that every African-American can understand.
“This movie tells a story that could happen to any one of us,” said Nia Sankofa, a Hampton University marketing major from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
“Yes, the story was fake, but by the way it was told, it might as well have been true.”
In terms of genre, this movie was greedy, but not in the way you would think. Queen & Slim managed to balance multiple genres from action-adventure to romance then drama with sub-genres suspense, thriller and comedy to support the movie in terms of substance.
“It was an outstanding piece of cinema,” said Shawn Smith, an HU accounting major from Prince George’s County, Maryland.
Filmmakers Waithe and Matsoukas did an excellent job handling this story, a story of two people who are practically strangers being thrust into what seems to be an unavoidable situation for a black man in the U.S.
This film does a great job showing the difference between the point of view of the main characters, Queen and Slim, who have to live their life on the run and the perspective of the people they’ve inspired.
The audience gets a pretty good feel of the main character’s personalities within the first few minutes of the movie since viewers meet Queen and Slim as they first meet each other. There was no significant “supporting cast” aside from Bokeem Woodbine’s outstanding performance as Uncle Earl, which provided comedic relief and much-needed character development into the closed-off character of Queen.
“The movie had me on the edge of my seat the entire time,” said Auburn Chandler, an HU computer science major from Atlanta.
Queen & Slim is a movie that will be talked about for years, as it provides an answer to a what-if scenario. Waithe and Matsoukas manage to answer this question so vividly and realistically, one could think it was based on a true story. From the script to the cinematography, this movie is nothing less than a masterpiece, and not seeing it would be a mistake.
Queen & Slim will be in theaters Nov. 27.