Another Netflix Hit: Malcolm and Marie

Ryder Rasmussen, Lead Arts & Entertainment Editor

Malcolm and Marie, a drama written and directed by Sam Levinson, released last February starring Zendaya and John David Washington. Zendaya and Levison are best known for their work on the hit series Euphoria, as the lead and creator of the show respectively, delivering the same amazing work you’d expect from them. Malcolm and Marie gives us a peek into the tense relationship between our two protagonists over the course of one night. Malcom is a young director returning from the successful premiere of his film with his girlfriend Marie, an actress whose life has inspired Malcom’s film.  However she does not star in it. Through their fighting, not only about his film but also deeper, lasting issues between them, the audience develops a deep understanding of the relationship and the events that have brought them to this moment. You wonder if they can make it through this difficult night and what their future holds.

Based on the title alone, Malcolm and Marie, the viewer gets the impression that the movie does not side with one character or another, both are represented equally. You get a look into their entire relationship and all the major events that lead up to this night. Despite the baggage and the major issues they have with one another, you get why they’re still together, even if they shouldn’t be. I appreciate that they both have their flaws and that the relationship is fleshed out.

My favorite scene had to be the one in which Malcom reads the first review of his film. He goes on an impassioned speech about film criticism in today’s culture which I loved. Washington shines in this scene with excellent line delivery and even manages to fit in some hilarious moments within the rant. Despite the serious tone of the movie, there are some really funny moments sprinkled throughout.

As I said before, Levinson is known for his work on Euphoria. Back in December, a special episode titled “Rue” was released between seasons. The entire episode, like Malcom and Marie, takes place in one location and focuses on a conversation between two characters which gives us insight into who they are. That first special episode is by far my favorite of the entire series. Levinson has proven his ability to write great dialogue and it shines in Malcolm and Marie.

This is a fantastic addition to Netflix’s library of originals. Zendaya and Washington both outdo themselves with their performances. Their chemistry is unbelievable and they play off each other so well. Supported by the performances, Levinson’s writing carries this movie. This is definitely worth checking out on Netflix for everything it has to offer.