AHHHHH!!! It’s black history month and this post is long overdue. I want to discuss the BEST MOVIE OF THE CENTURY *drum roll* QUEEN & SLIM!
From the art to the music to the cinematography to the acting to the writing to the EVERYTHING, Queen & Slim is absolutely phenomenal. I am blown away. I am speechless. I am grateful for the genius that is Lena Waithe and Melina Matsoukas. Yes, this post is bias. If you want an unbiased article to read this is not it. Now…
First thing I want to make note of is the fact that you hardly ever see two dark complected people fall in love on screen. It was absolutely beautiful to watch not only because of their complexion but because they were two completely different people. Queen has dealt with a lot of trauma, a complicated relationship with her mom who was killed by her uncle while Slim grew up in a two parent household a close relationship with his father. Queen is a lawyer while I forgot what Slim does but he’s most definitely not a lawyer. Slim believes in God, Queen doesn’t. Queen is very outspoken while Slim is laid-back. I won’t take you guys through the entire movie detail to detail but i do want to point out the major key events and things I loved most about the film.
Things I loved most:1. The Love Jones Conversation. Its only right that the writers paid respect to the 1997 classic, Love Jones. If you’re going to make another iconic black love story, why wouldn’t you give the legend of them all a mention. 2. The hair switch up. When one of Uncle Earl’s girls helps Queen take out her braids it was like they were showing another art piece of our culture. Slim also had a hair switch when he went from a fro to a fade. Both Queen and Slim were feeling self conscious about their hair changes but when the both of them saw each others new look for the first time in one of the most beautiful moments, they were even more attracted to one another. This scene was one of my favorites because Queen taking her braids out and reverting back to her natural short fro showed how we are still beautiful and should be proud with our natural hair no matter the length. Slim’s hair switch showed how important our hair is to us, his hair was his crown and it was a sad almost painful moment when he had to let it go. 3. The dance break. A blues band playing and people dancing enjoying life made me think about the simplest things in life and how we take them for granted. When Slim stops at a small local bar and convinces Queen to dance with him I was just as nervous as Queen. What if someone notices them? Well, they find out that everyone in there knew exactly who they were. The patrons start to hold up their fists in solidarity with Queen and Slim. The bartender tells Slim that they were safe there. Yet another beautiful moment that further conveys the message of the film that its about US we need to have each others back. 4. Slim on a horse. Yet another powerful and beautiful scene that made me think about appreciating life and the simple things that we take for granted. After Queen had her head out of the car enjoying the air and assured Slim that he should give it a try. Queen saw horses and stopped, Slim was apprehensive about this too but again Queen assured him that it was a good idea. She told him to get on horse and he did. There’s something beautiful about a black man on a horse.
What would happen if a black man shot a white cop in present day America? Queen & Slim reveal the possible reactions of a painfully traumatic experience. From the beginning we are taken on this getaway ride to freedom and in the end we are slapped in the face. Towards the end of the film at a very shocking moment in the theater a woman yells, “What kind of movie is this!?”. I think it is safe to say we were shocked, angry, and heartbroken at this pivotal moment when Queen is shot. “I want to be your legacy” “You already are my legacy”Boom…Shock.
That was the most hurtful moment until it wasn’t…After Slim picked up Queen in THE MOST powerful and beautiful scenes of the film and their journey ends we see the bounty reward money and who is counting it but the same black man who was supposedly helping them escape. One of my friends feels the message they were trying to convey isn’t clear but whatever it is, is negative. He feels the ending shouldn’t have been a greedy double crossing from someone black. He also feels the scene of the young black boy shooting the black officer that was only trying to help him wasn’t necessary. I understand where he is coming from but I have to disagree, the message is clear. The story was beautiful and life changing for me. Queen & Slim says enjoy life and all of its simplicities because life is fickle. It says that if we look deeper this isn’t a fight between us and the police. Black police officers are in the “us”. All of us are in this together whether a cop or not. I think that’s what they showed us when the young boy killed the police officer and again when the black police officer on lookout duty helped them getaway. Every scene meant something. Sometimes like the ending shows, its us vs us when it shouldn’t be. I think that this was a wake up call for us. We have to love each other and stick together that’s the only way we can overcome the world thats against us, together…
Originally published 2/2/20.