‘Queen & Slim’, is the debut feature film by television director Melina Matsoukas. This tragic love story starts off with an extremely regular date between actors Jodie Turner Smith (Queen) and Daniel Kaluuya (Slim). The two of them were clearly casually dating. The opening scene is filled with relatable and witty jokes that shed light on their lackluster chemistry. She comes off as annoyed, while he seems sincere but yet boring. In the first 10 minutes, I immediately found myself asking “where is this going”? It doesn’t seem like these two would end up in love, running away from the world.
Things Get Hot
Things would swiftly intensify after the “routine” traffic stop ended in a cop fatality. This scene could be potentially triggering and frustrating due to the police officer’s irritable attitude. At this moment it was made clear that they saw the world differently. “Slim” wanted to go with the motions of an extensive, but intruding traffic stop. While “Queen”, who is a lawyer, decided to speak up and ask questions which resulted in gunshots. This scene will leave viewers at the edge of their seats, especially when the cop is killed. Both Queen and Slim agreed the cop was unjust, but who’s going to listen to a “black cop killer”?
So, Queen and Slim fled the scene. At this point, the “non-couple” become fugitives who go cross country and fall in love. Queen and Slim are very reminiscent of duos like Bonnie and Clyde, Butch and Sundance, and Thelma and Louise. In movies like these, the integrity of the characters becomes subjective as some would call them heroes while others deem them as villains.
Danger and Violence
This film is full of danger and violence but also has a very simple plot. The tent in this movie is dreamy, possessing a lot of unrealistic situations. One thing that was very realistic was the mixed views on their image. A reoccurring theme in this movie was morale. What’s right? What’s wrong? Should they have turned themselves in? Did they have to kill the cop? Questions that really can’t be answered if you’re unfamiliar with the situation first hand. Throughout their journey, they would run into supporters and naysayers.
Truthfully speaking, they were placed in a situation that would only lead to more questionable decision making. Queen and Slim took a deep dive in the “what ifs” that come to mind when you get pulled over for something as trivial as not using your blinker. Imagine briefly daydreaming as you wait, while the blue lights flicker behind you. Drifting into a world where you’re on the run with no money for a week trying to flee to another country with someone you met on tinder.
Although she was never really called a “Queen”, throughout the movie her role stood firm behind the title. A beautiful dark-skinned woman was not only the lead role but the brains behind the entire operation. Slim was able to pretty much take the backseat to her while maintaining a masculine role. In a general sense, this film has things purposely placed to teach us life lessons.
Their adventure was filled with such anxiety and unsureness. Each checkpoint of their week run on the road raised multiple questions. Are they going to help? Are they going to turn them in? This film shed a light on racism in America. Typically, movies focus on the overtness but in this case is subtle. It exemplifies the idea that people aren’t always what they seem. Overall this movie was outstanding but a few scenes seemed a little off-putting and confusing. We all know that sex scenes are a thing for any sort of romantic movie, but this one was different.
Although this is a great movie, one of the downfalls was some of the scenes that seemed forced. Everything in this film seemed to be done with intent but, it is easy to get lost in this sex scene. Fusing a sex scene with people protesting was a very risky move. It showed a character that met Queen and Slim, who ended up killing a police officer as the main characters have sex. It’s hard to fully decipher the point and on the surface, it seems like they were just having sex as the world was falling apart due to their situation.
On a positive note, this movie highlights black love and how deeply we can love each other. It represented how adversity can bring people together to create a bond. Two complete strangers going through a life-changing event are sticking together through it all day by day. For those who are hopeless romantics, this is the movie for you. If you’re looking for something extremely realistic and down to earth go the other way. This movie allows you to truly explore the what-ifs of something that literally happens to us every day. From beginning to end this film was entertaining, to say the least. Filled with a lot of ups and downs, you’ll be glued to the screen wondering about the fate of Queen and Slim.