Social media has been buzzing about the new hit black romance ‘Queen & Slim’, written by Emmy award winner Lena Waithe and directed by Grammy winner Melina Matsoukas. Both strong and successful women of color, earning every bit of their stripes in Hollyweird, Hollywood. Lena Waithe, who hails from Chicago, made a solid name for herself after writing an episode of ‘Master of None’ titled ‘Thanksgiving’, and winning an Emmy behind it. She has been grinding hard, since moving to California and securing a job as an assistant to the executive producer of the show ‘Girlfriends’. While Malina Matsoukas has been catching wigs by pleasing the Bey hive, a name dedicated to the loyal fans of Beyoncé Knowles, by directing the video ‘Formation’. Both ladies came together and delivered a love story everyone in the world is raving about.
‘Queen and Slim’ stars Jodie Turner- Smith as Queen and Daniel Kaluuya as Slim. The storyline of the movie is based on a young black female attorney stressed out because a client of her’s was sentenced to death. The young woman didn’t want to be left alone so she decides to go on a date through the dating app called ‘Tinder’. She meets up with a standoffish guy who is not only shorter than her, but sort of outspoken and no match for her ‘Queen’ like demeanor. The casting director knew exactly what they were looking for in the movie when they asked for a black woman of color, who if was a slave would be a ‘field negro’. Our brothers and sisters know exactly what this look called for just as well as if a director asks for a black person who could play a ‘house negro’, so getting your panties in a bunch over their casting search is pointless. This movie would not have worked with any ‘other’ look playing the role of Queen except who they casted. She did a phenomenal job and was necessary in delivering the message in the movie.
There are so many discussions one could pull from this film ranging from ‘police brutality’, ‘growing up black in America’, the relationship between the black man and the black woman’, ‘love’ and ‘betrayal’. The movie led the viewers on a roller coaster ride of emotions as the young couple fled the scene from a traffic stop where Slim ended up shooting a racist police officer, who initially shot his date in the leg. Soon after the showdown their names made headlines all over the world which led them to come up with a plan to escape to Cuba. On the road there is dancing, and a stop down memory lane for Queen who visits an intriguing uncle played by Harlem’s on Bokeem Woodbine. Bookeem brought all the swag and drip to the film, complete with a haram of beautiful black women who treated him like a King. The couple dodged police officers, bullets, and were above all broke but, kept each other entertained with conversation, dating, and building a passionate love affair while on the road.
After seeing the end of the movie I admit myself I was hurt to my soul, but once the movie grew on me for a few days, and my mind has time to process the story I understood exactly what Lena and Melina were looking to deliver to the people. Never being a stranger to not spread knowledge amongst my people, in my eyes ‘Queen and Slim’ was a necessary production to show people of color how to embrace love between each other, while admiring the strength and courage of black women. This is a role where you see a black man fall head over heels for a black woman with skin as black as his and hair just as short. It drops all the bandages and barriers we built as a people and explores the notion of finding and cherishing true love. Despite a tragic ending, viewers can take the movie for what it’s worth, and walk away with a firm understanding of trusting your gut instinct when someone doesn’t care about your best intentions, while appreciating that women of color have always been strong bodied enough to hold their man down. I give the movie a 10 /10.
Carisha The Journalist