Malcom & Marie [2021] ★★½

“Malcom & Marie” is all about good performances, and both Zendaya and John David Washington deliver. But I wish I could say the same about the movie itself. It’s certainly  well-shot and features a pair of powerhouse performances. But halfway through, I found myself drifting away from it, and the movie never managed to pull me in again. I was completely captivated at first, as we meet a filmmaker (Washington) and his girlfriend (Zendaya) who return home following his long-awaited movie premiere. What seems like a celebratory night at first quickly turns into a tense affair. Over the next few hours, old wounds are reopened and secrets are revealed, as we learn more and more about their personal issues. Writer-director Sam Levinson grabs us from the word go, thanks to a tightly written dialogue. But I can tell you that after a while, I grew tired of it. To whatever degree the movie succeeds, it is largely because of these two. I just wish they trimmed it a bit. Or better yet: “Malcom & Marie” would have worked more as a short movie.

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