Another holiday, another week to try and get the most out of the movies and the shopping frenzy of Black Friday. Tonight’s feature is another political drama that will potentially lead to much discussion, potential motivation, and certainly a lot of discussion about the quality of the movie. Given the heated reviews I’ve seen so far, I’m going to do my best to put an objective focus on this review and give you heads up as to whether or not one should take this film in for the holiday theater run. Let’s get started as I look at:
Film: Queen and Slim (2019)
- Adventure mixed with Morals
- Cultural Representation Tasteful At Times
- Slow Pace
- Super political at parts that detracts from story
- Secondary character are sort of at lost
- A bit stereotypical at times
- Lazy writing in dialogue at times
- Editing Issues
Queen and Slim’s two main leads are stellar, taking very shallow characters and evolving their performances with to match the development. Their chemistry is fantastic with each other, really delivering a believable relationship that does not feel forced or scripted, but rather natural and flowing. It’s this component that will be the core foundation for the film, as both Kaluuya and Turner-Smith are capable of delivering the politically charged content in heated yet classy ways. As you can guess, this movie has a lot of hot topics built into it, and the movie utilizes the cinematography to bring lots of symbolism into the film. Sequences are designed to capture the full power of many topics of interest, attempting to again balance the heat of the moment with an objective take sort of capturing a news debate in a more entertaining form. Queen and Slim’s adventure is definitely a road trip that should be engaging for target audiences of drama/political lovers, but for those looking for messages to motivate you should see this achieved as well. Preachy at times (as most of these films are), this tale does a nice job of instilling the writer’s values into a classy, ethical manner that will provide some food for thought and reanalyzing one’s approach to these arguments. In addition, several members in my audience mentioned that they appreciated the cultural representation at key moments and the importance of pride and reputation as several secondary characters showed. I found that though stereotypical, it was tasteful compared to what other movies have done in the past. Finally, the music has enough musical genres to make an entertaining soundtrack, with R&B, Rap, and Hip hop ready to blast through the speakers during transition sequences. Not the most relevant in terms of story, but a good soundtrack is always welcome in my book to get my feet moving.
However, I agree with my reviewers there are some decisions made in this movie I felt detracted from the messages and story they wanted to tell. My limitation starts with the length of the film and the pace that did not support the length. Much of the film feels very drawn out, bloated sequences that did not need to be present, while other times it was a little too focused on pointing out the obvious. As I mentioned earlier, Queen and Slim requires the two main characters to be the focus of all the political writing in the movie. While they excel at this, the supporting characters are a little too much in the background for my tastes. Like connecting the dots, the farther the two travel the more diluted the characters become, leading to plain interactions with most, often to introduce a new angle and conversation topic to discuss. I’ll admit I liked seeing the influence the two had, especially at the end, but I had hoped for a little more progression and pertinence than what we got. The truth is that this film really focuses on hitting all the political issues so hard that it sort of drives off from the story and leave the main characters in side scenes while the people they have talked to “evolve” so to speak. Most of these scenes were… okay, but a couple were so convoluted and unnecessary, that I only saw it as a more time extension than quality shot, again meant for a politically charged audience. Throw in much of the writing is again back to lots of cursing and insults to go with the stereotypical portrayals and well, you sort of drown the better writing in this representation. Overall, the main thing that this movie suffers from is the editing and trying to be too tastefully political in the sequences sort of diluted the incredible potential of the story.
Queen and Slim is a drama that has important messages for the world to see and think on, and does a decent job with not making them too aggressive. Yet, in terms of an entertaining story that has the full picture of suspense, discussion, and storytelling it still has areas of improvement to go. It’s the editing and how much they wanted to include that I think got this film in trouble, and because of the side tangents and attempts to personify the problems in this character, the story got scattered. For those that want their political ideals represented and relate to the trials each character has, this movie is a theater visit, but for the rest of the audience, I feel the investment at a home watch is going to be key to maximizing your experience.
My scores are:
Movie Overall: 5.5