I don’t know where to begin talking about this movie. Okay, so let me spill it. I have some problems while talking or watching a movie about homosexuality. It’s not that I am homophobic or something but it is because I was brought up this way. Being from an Indian middle-class family, these topics weren’t discussed much. In my circle of school-friends we used to be so busy playing that we never stopped to think what else was happening around us, but this movie reminded me of something. More about it later in the review.
So, the movie is about Chiron who has to grow up in a black neighbourhood and also has to go through a tough adolescence while handling every other problem that comes his way while also discovering his place in his this world. The movie is divided into three chapters, depicting childhood, adolescence and adulthood.
I thought Mahershala Ali was going to be the central character of the entire movie. In a way, he is because Chiron/Little/Black basically becomes just like him. He is a spitting image of Ali’s character, Juan. That said, Mahershala Ali is a revelation. His characters in House of Cards and Luke Cage were radically different and here he portrays another character worth remembering. I mean, by the time he is done you’ll wish you had Juan by your side to get you through your tough times. All three actors (Alex R. Hibbert, Ashton Sanders and Trevante Rhodes) create the central character piece by piece. They had to show the change in character and what the years have done to the character through their performance only.
Barry Jenkins, who is the director and also the writer, did a bold job of not depending on flashbacks into the intermediate years of Chiron’s growth. He kept the characteristics intact and just added little details to show how he has changed. One gripe I have is how they handled the character of Teresa(Janelle Monae). I was expecting her to have a more fulfilling ending. That’s it. A little gripe which I had was the lingo. I am from India and well, it’s pretty difficult to understand some of the terminologies, so that is much of a personal problem and not a gripe, exactly.
Performance wise, other than the three Chirons, Naomie Harris pretty much takes the cake as the addicted mother. Her accent was almost similar to Tia Dalma. The kid who did Kevin’s character and even the adult Kevin(Jharrell Jerome and Andre Holland) gave very nuanced performances. Even that drug dealer who Juan met on the streets was also impeccable. I don’t know if there were any drugs involved in his performance, but it was really really good.
On a technical level, the movie looks really good. The colour, the overall tone is very smooth. Most of the time the camera use is static but sometimes there is that odd camera angle which sneaks it’s way in. The music is pretty good and has an R&B feel to it. It really reminded me of Luke Cage.
FINAL VERDICT – Now to the thing which I was talking about earlier. The movie demands the audience to see the world through Chiron’s eyes. I mean, literally. There are many shots where we are literally seeing through his eyes and it is moving. It reminded of my school days, when we used to bully the odd dude. To be honest, he was a bit irritating and used to fight a lot but otherwise he was okay. It’s sad that I didn’t get to understand him as he is. I always used to question that why is he like that and why isn’t he more like us. Now, nothing can be done about the past but a majority of the credit for my awareness about the gay community actually goes to Hollywood. So, yes, I think more and more movies should be made about the topics which are considered taboo by the rest of the world. It’s not a form of rebellion but just another perspective of seeing life.
Definitely give this movie a watch if you haven’t already.
Thanks for reading. Like, share and follow. Comment if you have thoughts of killing me because of my reviews. Send in your requests if you want anything reviewed.