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Malcolm & Marie provides us with two knock out performances from Zendaya and John David Washington, showcasing a whole range of emotions. The intensity is at full throttle throughout this dialogue driven latest edition to the Netflix slate.

Written by Elliot Lines

Focusing on the relationship between a young couple, Marie (Zendaya) and Malcolm (John David Washington), after they return home from his film premiere. While they're awaiting the critics response, a strain is put on their relationship when all the cracks begin to open up and all their cards are laid out on the table.

The only cast members here are the two on show, but you never feel like you need anymore. There is a range of emotions in which these two characters show in each and every scene is extensive. With a constant toing and froing of accusations, with a mixture of love and hate, these two actors make this performance feel seamless, completely natural. This is a testament to the talent on show, they are both able to portray this complex wave of love, hate, passion, fear, without even breaking a sweat.

Completely dialogue driven, you are required to pay attention to the discussions and accusations being spoken. There is never any need for dramatics, not requiring the smashing of plates or bellowing in each others faces, the script does it all for you. You feel the strain that is put on this relationship, it gets you on the edge of your seat, anticipating as to what is going to come next.

You slowly get an idea of the characters, and their position in the relationship. From the start the way in which the scenes are shot shows that Marie is looking at Malcolm's life from the outside, not quite a part of it, something that comes to light later in the film. Marie is a strong character, who doesn't take any crap. Malcolm is self absorbed, only seems to care about his life, his achievements. When confronted, he has an answer, he knows exactly what to say to divert the conversation. The love they have for each other is evident, but there is so many underlying issues, which all come out in this one night, hard for anyone to handle.

There is an intense nature to how this relationship is on show here. The raw emotions fly off the screen creating a suspense that you cannot escape. Characters are grappling with these emotions and actors illustrate them profoundly.

Malcolm & Marie is released on Netflix February 5, 2021


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