Filmed entirely during the COVID-19 pandemic, the long-awaited Netflix Original, “Malcolm and Marie,” debuted on streaming service on Feb. 5, making it one of the first films to be shot and released during the pandemic.
Directed by Sam Levinson, who also directed the popular HBO show “Euphoria.” The film stars John David Washington as Malcolm and Zendaya as Marie.
The movie centers entirely around the couple and begins with the pair coming home from a movie premiere. When they get home, the couple have an argument over how Malcolm did not thank Marie during his acceptance speech, which Marie gets upset about. Throughout the movie, the couple has an off and on again relationship, tiring themselves out until the next morning.
The film has been met with controversy on the internet by some viewers, who found the age gap between Zendaya, who is 24-years-old, and Washington, who is 36-years-old, to be uncomfortable. Others online felt that Levinson, who is a white man, was not the right person to write and direct the story of a Black couple.
Kerry Ryan, a junior criminal justice and history double major, said that the age gap in the film did not bother her since they are just acting. Ryan added that she thought the filmmaker being white had nothing to do with the story of a black couple.
Putting the controversies aside, Seton Hall students had mostly positive reviews for “Malcolm and Marie.”
Carolyn Johnson, a sophomore public relations major, said she thought that the film was different from anything she has ever seen as it did not follow the usual structure in which many movies are made.
“Honestly, I was kind of confused at the start of what the movie was going to be about, but the more I watched it, the more I got into it as the story developed,” she said.
Carolyn Murray, a junior biology and social work major, said she thought that the film was a beautifully choreographed movie because it only had two actors, was set during the course of one night, and was shot entirely in black and white, adding that there was nothing frivolous to distract her from watching the plot unfold.
Murray said that the movie did not need a big action scene or special effects to be something special, and that everything felt intentional as “Malcolm and Marie” had no smoke and mirrors.
“Overall, I enjoyed the movie, and I liked it even more because it was just two people talking,” Murray said.
Ryan was more critical of the movie, saying that it was not bad, but that it could have been shorter; Ryan said that she felt “Malcolm and Marie” could have been made into a short film, and that it did not need to be a full length movie.
“Overall, I do not think the movie was bad,” Ryan said. “When I was reading reviews, some of them were a bit worse than I think they should have been.”Dana Fialkowski can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.