Sam Levinson’s black and white Netflix two-hander turns into a self-indulgent excuse to whine about his critics through the mouthpiece of John David Washington
A director by the name of Malcolm (John David Washington) and his partner, Marie (Zendaya), arrive home from Malcolm’s big film premiere. It’s a celebratory night toasted by drinks, music and mac and cheese. However, all is not well between the two.
While the main row between the couple concerns how much Malcolm values Marie, Malcolm’s distaste for white critics also arises, leading into a bevy of loaded rants. Directed by Sam Levinson, the creator of Euphoria and son of Barry Levinson, the black-and-white melodrama Malcolm & Marie, now available on Netflix, initially has good intentions – defending black art – but once Levinson begins positing his gripes through Malcolm, a black man, his sincere aims trend toward being selfishly malicious.