ZENDAYA & JOHN DAVID WASHINGTON GIVE US SO MUCH HEAT IN ‘MALCOLM & MARIE’!
7th February 2021
Malcolm and Marie is packed with so much style but even more substance.
The first thing to note is Zendaya and longtime friend and collaborator Sam Levinson who she has worked with on hit cult show ‘Euphoria’ teamed up during quarantine to make this. The inspiration came from being in lockdown and ‘Euphoria’ season 2 being put on hold, due to the pandemic. They wanted to stay motivated, creative and ensure the production team that was now at home out of work would have work and away to pay their bills. So Zendaya alongside Sam financed it themselves, a much smaller budget meant calling in every favour and keeping the filming as intimate as possible. The location was the beautiful Caterpillar House, an award-winning modern home in Carmel, California, breathtaking with modern architecture and windows everywhere. Malcolm and Marie was shot in black and white and mostly at night, it’s moody and edgy to look at with that old-school Hollywood-esque vibe.
Zendaya and John David Washington both look every inch the Hollywood starlights they are portraying. Malcolm (John David) a film maker who has just won an award for his latest film, while Marie his model/actress girlfriend by his side return home to what can only be described as high emotions, incredible tension and a fight waiting to happen. Marie feels used and overlooked by her man, who forgot to thank her in his acceptance speech, even after the film was mostly based on her difficult life as an addict.
They argue, make love, bring up past traumas while she cooks him mac and cheese that he devours ( late night snack that I need). The lengthy monologues are incredible, something you would expect on stage, the 2 actors going back and forth like a feud never letting the other win. Sam’s writing is truly beautiful and also very spot on with every little detail as though it’s a story that one of your friends or you are living right now. As a writer and director Sam truly has captured modern day life and relationships in away that I can’t say I have seen too often. The vulnerability and honestly in his work is refreshing and also incredibly exciting.
Watching Zendaya become a whole other person on screen in such a demanding totally different way is a testament to his talent as a Director as much as hers as a talented actress. You can see she trusts him which allows her to go to the edge of the cliff and know he is there to catch her. As an actress this is the first time you see Zendaya as a grown ass woman, with layers to her acting ability, yes she has this beautiful innocence about her but we see depth and so much more from her in this role. Any doubters that thought her recent Golden Globes win was a one off, trust me when I say this film proves she is a force to reckon with and if she continues to say ‘yes’ to challenging potentially scary roles like this one of ‘Marie’ she will become one of the most powerful on screen talents.
John David Washington is just as infectious to watch on screen as his co-star; his passion and dedication to his craft is evident in every scene he shares and holds on his own. When Denzel Washington one of the best actors in the world is your father, that pressure of living up to his success and adding to the fact you decided to come to acting much later to most in your 30’s can make it harder, but John David is a star and wonderful to watch on screen, I’m sure his dad will be proud.
Malcolm and Marie highlights the need to be heard, seen and loved, highly recommend you check it out over on Netflix. The soundtrack is stunning with old-school favourites from the likes of James Brown, The Fatback Band, and John Coltrane.