“Malcolm & Mary” recalls the attention of George Louis Borges, who, instead of writing novels, imagined a novel he had already written and then wanted to create his own critique.
This is how it goes in the first few minutes – Malcolm, a young black director, returns from the first scene of his film and comments with bitter sarcasm about his reception. He cites critics who greeted him after the session, praising the way he portrayed the situation of blacks in the United States.
He says it’s nothing like that. Why do they think a Negro can only speak as a Negro? Or why do they believe that a Negro is no other human being and cannot speak like that?
At the same time, as a writer and viewer, this attempt to control the film, but also the reception of the film, already gives an idea of the almost boundless narcissism of our hero. The opposite point of the person will appear Mary, his wife. Malcolm didn’t seem happy that he at least used his personal story, but at the time he used another actress.
The exchange of accusations and the couple’s plays begin. These endless discussions, there is nothing around everything. Screenwriter Sam Levinson’s dialogues and monologues are smart enough to drop the discussion to the viewer. According to Tennessee Williams and other post-war playwrights.
According to director Sam Levinson, the records are mixed. The first scenes, the high Malcolm room, and another room in the mansion where they now live, come and go, with a camera placed outside the house, making you think of a stylist stylist, i.e. running himself into style in a search.
Black and white reinforce this idea. Not long shots. None of these try to go with the movement and reflection of the characters without cutting their rhythm in return. So, perhaps, that is not the stylist: practical, before.
Thus the mind of the viewer in front of the film will vary. Facing Mary’s arguments, it’s easy to see how narcissistic Malcolm is, he can not leave himself, and ultimately a boxer. But when Mary reveals herself, with words and gestures, he may have a reason: she is ruining herself.
In some cases, beauty and performance match. Some of the latest black and white (“Monk”, “Filamondo Casablanca”) do not light up from behind most of the time. However, Malcolm’s claim against the critics (widely spoken: why would he be a “new Spike Lee”, but never a “new William Wyler”?) Applies to the film.
“Malcolm & Mary” had that excitement, which impressed many of Wyler’s film contemporaries, but later made them forget. Time will tell if it resists. But Levinson is a filmmaker to follow, especially with its atrocities and setbacks as the film never ends in a pair of fights.
The transparency and frequency with which Malcolm (above all) reveals to Mary: “I have a master” seems central.
But at this point the viewer is already faced with another question that the film raises, perhaps the most interesting: after all, what is love between two people?
Speaking of two people, the two actors in John David Washington and end Zentaya are excellent and well directed. Second, not only by words but also by gestures, there are only two actors in the scene.
Finally: This is another example of how Netflix, unlike Amazon, can distribute medium (or small) movies, for example, it seems that the world is always coming up with special effects.