Moonlight (2016)

Moonlight Movie Review…………………………………………………………………….

Moonlight Movie Review

Moonlight is a 2016 drama film directed by Barry Jenkins and starring Andre Holland, Naomi Harris and Mahershala Ali among others. It is a flawed, but ultimately very good film.

…………………………………………………………………….

You’re the only man who ever touched me

…………………………………………………………………….

Moonlight Movie Review…………………………………………………………………….

It is a coming-of-age story concerning growing up of a gay black man who is shy and bullied at school while also having problems with his mother who is a drug addict. Now the film is acclaimed but is to me just good and never great mainly because of that drug subplot. To me it had that great, emotional scene between adult Chiron and his mother, but other than that, it was thoroughly underutilized and just took away the running time needed for its first and more important story.

Another problem is that the first half or so, especially its first vignette, felt way too conventional. The film is said to be unconventional and unique, but I never saw that as the first vignette felt clich├ęd and like a typical coming-of-age flick adding nothing new to the table.

…………………………………………………………………….

Moonlight Movie Review…………………………………………………………………….

But the second vignette is much better and it featured a good intimate scene between Chiron and his friend. The bullying aspect was also well done and it was overall much more memorable than the first part. But the third vignette is easily the standout one. It is the part where the film truly shines. Watching the two reunite after ten years was just so emotional to watch. It featured a couple of memorable lines, it was so well filmed and the ending and the entire part was so tragic, yet subtle. It definitely elevated what was otherwise a standard picture.

This film is light in characterization, maybe too light, but it still manages to make this characters feel real mostly thanks to its great attention to detail and excellent, subtle work done in dialogue and script. That was best exemplified in the last part where we get to know both of them really well despite only being with them for a short time.

…………………………………………………………………….

Moonlight Movie Review…………………………………………………………………….

Moonlight is naturally very well acted. Naomi Harris did a very good job and she deserved her nomination. However, Mahershala Ali really disappointed me. I do not get why he was Oscar nominated as the role itself was very weak. He was good in it, but the role was so typical and the character was forgettable. To me Andre Holland is the true standout here and he deserved a nomination for sure. His facial expressions and eye contact is phenomenal and he helped elevate an otherwise strong material even more with his excellent performance.

Moonlight is technically well made. The score was forgettable, but the direction from Barry Jenkins is strong and the editing is really good. It is well edited for sure, but the film’s structure isn’t as terrific as everyone said it is. It felt unoriginal to me personally. But the dialogue is fantastic, truly accomplished because with a few lines, the characters said everything we needed to know. That is because the script is clever and understated. But some things still felt unexplained with him being bullied because of his sexuality never being properly established.

…………………………………………………………………….

Moonlight Movie Review…………………………………………………………………….

Moonlight is really well shot with good cinematography. And it was very realistic in its characters and story. The film is also very sentimental, but in a good way. “You’re the only man who ever touched me” is the highlight in terms of the quotes, that moment was so powerful in its tragedy and it is the highlight and the most fantastic thing about the entire film. To me, just that line lifted the film to a much more accomplished status. Overall, I found the film to be superb in some areas and truly special, but overall it is not great and is a bit overrated.

Moonlight is quite a good, but honestly a bit overrated film. It features excellent performances from Naomi Harris and Andre Holland, it is very well edited and directed, the script is excellent and the third vignette was just fantastic, so tragic and wonderfully conveyed as a whole, but the first two vignettes (especially the first one) felt overly conventional, the drug addicted mother part was never utilized properly and was rushed and the entire structure of the film was typical to me. The film is clever and sometimes with just a couple of lines it perfectly explained everything we need to know about its characters, but sometimes because of its structure, it skipped too many things and definitely felt underutilized.

My Rating – 4

…………………………………………………………………….

Share
Posted in 2010s, 2016, Drama, FILM DECADES, MOVIE REVIEWS and tagged , , , , , , , , .

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.