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There's a problem with 'Malcolm & Marie'

The Netflix movie starring Zendaya and John David Washington is getting some backlash

There's a problem with 'Malcolm & Marie' The Netflix movie starring Zendaya and John David Washington is getting some backlash
Released a few days ago on in the Netflix catalogue, Malcolm & Marie is the latest film directed by Sam Levinson shot entirely during the first period of lockdown. However, this is not the only particularity of the film, which sees Zendaya and John David Washington as the protagonists in the role of a couple at the centre of a fight that lays bare the relationship in its complexity. In the film, Malcolm is a director in constant search of his own stylistic code, committed to telling stories with black protagonists without ever talking about race. Indeed, he's convinced that he's fully successful in his job, despite the fact that critics often try to enclose him in what they believe should be the role of a black director in modern cinema. 

In particular, a critic from the Los Angeles Times is at the centre of Malcolm's concern, thus triggering a short circuit between reality and fiction. It was Katie Walsh of the LA Times who spoke in unsavoury words about Assassination Nation, Levinson's previous film, turning this aspect of the film into a personal agenda of the director himself put into the mouth of a fictional character in his film. The aspect, ironically noted by the current LA Times reviewer Justin Chang, is just one of the many that clash within a film that seems to want to do everything to place itself within the black narrative by putting all possible cards on the table: from Spike Lee to Moonlight, up to 40 acres to Angela Davis, on which Malcolm is making a biopic. 

The problem obviously lies in the director, in Sam Levinson who according to some "tokenizes" the protagonist of his film to talk about something that would not compete with him. Levinson, son of the director of Rain Man and Good Morning, Vietnam, therefore seems to want to use his privileged role (white director and son of art) to get involved in an issue that is not his own which partly gives reason to those who accused Malcolm & Marie to be a racist film. If the definition may seem exaggerated, so too is a director who stands as a white saviour by disguising himself as Barry Jenkins in an attempt to set a tone. And if you're wondering, the Los Angeles Times gave a bad review of this Levinson movie too.