By Natasha Perez
The air was sucked out of the room as the gun fired. Their eyes were glued to the screen. They stir in their seats, holding tightly onto their popcorn, afraid to make a sound. The cop fell onto the street as the young black couple rushed into their car; driving away. The theater was filled with an awkward pause, as harsh and comedic as the couple’s first date.
The movie Queen & Slim follows a “black Bonnie and Clyde,” who are on the run after they accidentally kill a cop in self-defense. They struggle to escape their crimes, receiving help from friends and strangers as they journey from Cleveland to the Florida Keys. Watching the film, you can’t help but be impressed by the growth of the couple’s relationship, the crew that created the film, and the overall message. All in all, the movie is pure excellence just don’t watch it with your parents, it’s rated R for a reason.
On the couple’s journey, they shed their past lives, becoming a more rebellious version of themselves. Slim losing his faith-based mindset and Queen becoming more free-spirited. No matter how they change, they ended up receiving hatred and praise from the public; categorizing them as heroes or criminals. As they moved towards the south, their connection grew deeper, finding salvation in each other.
The film is engulfed by music; it’s created by music gods! Melina Matsoukas didn’t just direct Queen & Slim but also directed Beyoncé’s “Formation,” and Rihanna’s “We Found Love”. The score of the film was produced by an up-and-coming artist, Blood Orange (Devonté Hynes), releasing Queen & Slim (Original Motion Picture Score) on November 22nd. Sharing with the world, wonderful tracks such as “Hair” and “Kissed All Your Scars”. Other artists such as Lil Baby, Gee Bee’s, and Solange also lent the movie their songs.
The reason the music is so important because it’s identifies the location and mindset. The evolution of music from the blues, hip hop, to R&B, helps transition through the landscapes as the couple pass county lines seamlessly. The music also gives insight into how the characters are feeling. They leave Cleveland listening to the blues, wallowing in the sin they had committed and arrived in Flordia listening to Rap, accepting their status as a symbol of rebellion.
All these subtle signs and hidden meanings are what make this movie so great. It came from the great minds of Melina Matsoukas, Lena Waithe(screenwriter), Devonté Hynes, and amazingly acted by Daniel Kaluuya and Jodie Turner-Smith. For these artists to come together to create Queen & Slim that’s beautifully filmed and represents so much. *Cheif Kiss* It slaps! This movie has a deep message but you’ll be laughing more than you realize. It’s filled with comedic breaks and moments of mundane activities that provide the film with a breath of fresh air. Presenting the message to: love the little things, appreciate what you have and experience as much as you can.