Movie Review: Queen & Slim (2019)

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Summary: A couple’s first date takes an unexpected turn when a police officer pulls them over.
Pros:
Cast and Characters. So, we never actually learn the two leads names until the end of the film. They’re never actually called “Queen” and “Slim” either. So, head’s up lol. There are other characters and actors in this film but I’m just going to highlight the two leads because we spend the movie with them.
  • Daniel Kaluuya as “Slim”. He’s a cool guy, he took her on a date to this little diner he loves. He clearly loves his family and he’s laid back compared to her. He also seems to have a different outlook on things compared other guys we might see on television. Throughout the film, we get to see him grow in taking control of a situation and not just nodding his head in agreement. He was always strong but we really see him grow into his strength by the end. I really like Daniel Kaluuya, he’s such a likable guy, he’s so handsome and charming that he charmed me in this movie. I like his emotional moments because he’s just so damn good at it.
  • Jodie Turner-Smith as “Queen”. I think this is her first major film and I wasn’t sure for a while if I liked her acting but she grew on me as the movie went on. At first, she’s really cold, she’s a lawyer and experienced a hard court case so she just wanted company and reached out to Slim on Tinder lol. She’s very straight forward, says what she thinks, no holds barred. But it’s because of this that gets them into a little trouble. There’s nothing wrong with that kind of personality but I feel like she could have read the situation better lol. But for her first major role, I thought she did well. I liked her chemistry with Daniel Kaluuya and I would be interested in seeing her act in future films. She’s also beautiful, her skin… flawless lol.
Black Love Story. Take it as you will when you watch the film but over the course of this movie, these two characters grow closer and a love does form between them. I can’t get into it too much otherwise it’s spoiler territory, but Kaluuya and Turner-Smith had great chemistry, even when they weren’t getting along earlier in the film. What happened between them felt like a natural progression. Sure, it was like a few days or a week, but I think it’s possible to build a relationship with someone you’ve experienced danger and trauma with. While the situation is dark and dire, I liked their quiet moments. Like her hanging out of the window, or the scene with the horses. They had great conversations, deep ones and they expressed real feelings to each other that they called back to at the end. I just… man it was beautiful. I thought it was really well depicted. They didn’t try to fix each other. I’ll leave the rest of it up to your interpretation.
Emotional. Due to the nature of the film, I think this film is very emotional in different ways. I can imagine you going through different feels while watching. When you first meet these people, you’ll probably like Slim and dislike Queen and you’ll probably dislike her for a majority of the movie. Then you’ll feel worry when they get pulled over by a cop. You’ll feel anger, you might understand where different people with different views on the situation is coming from. You’ll experience so many emotions that it’s not even funny, unless you’re made from stone. Also, the ending had me in tears.
Interesting Story/Unique Script. The script is very well written, I was so interested to see where they would end up. If they would win in the end or if they would lose. I like how real they both felt and how they didn’t start off the best but had to learn to trust each other and grow to feel what they feel towards each other. Not to mention, just how relevant their interaction with the police officer was. Sure, say what you want about them becoming fugitives but I understand that they felt it was the only way. Not to mention, they encountered people who agreed with them and those who felt what they did was wrong. I liked that you got both perspectives.
The Ending. I have a lot of feelings about this. I like it and I hate it lol. I knew it was going to happen but I feel like it was overly dramatic and I can’t go into it without spoiling it so. Just know I liked it but I hate it.
Cons:
Queen’s Character… sometimes. I think her character is very unlikable in a lot of ways. I found myself disliking her but as the movie went on, I grew to like her. I think the way she starts out, being kind of dismissive of Slim and then how she just does or says things that’s like “girl, shut up”. I get it, you’re trying to speak up for his rights and what not but it ends up feeling like it’s her fault. I didn’t like that it comes off that way.  I just felt a little weird about it.
Protest Sequence. After Queen and Slim meet this father and his son at the repair shop, they talk to the son who felt moved by the video of their interaction with the cop. He tells them about a protest their small town was going to have. So, we get to see this protest and sure, protest away, but I felt like that scene coupled with the other scene that’s shown with that scene was weird. Without spoiling, I don’t like when movies couple scenes like the one in the car with active scenes… if that makes sense. The first season of HTGAWM did that and I hated it. Plus, the way the protest scene ended I felt was just… too much. It was shock value and I get the reasoning but I feel like if that protest scene was cut, nothing would have changed.
The Ending. I have a lot of feelings about this. I like it and I hate it lol. That’s all I can say without spoiling it.
Overall, I really liked Queen & Slim. I think it was a fantastic film, with well written characters, particularly in our two leads and the acting was great. You really get to sit with two characters, you understand them more and more as the movie continues. The script is really interesting and pretty unique for it be with black leads. I love the chemistry between Daniel and Jodie. You might find yourself rooting for them. and I think you’ll experience a ton of emotions throughout the film. On the other hand, I found it hard to like Queen consistently and there’s nothing wrong with disliking a character but it just felt like something we’ve seen so many times. I also did not like the protest sequence, I get why it was there but if you remove it, it’s not a big deal. I also have a love/hate relationship with the ending. BUT this movie is beautifully shot and it feels like it could be real life, and it some ways it is real life.
Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars. 
Have you seen Queen & Slim? What are your thoughts? If you’d like to talk about the ending and my thoughts on the protest scene please feel free to comment! Please do!
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