Warning: This is a very powerful film…read on if you’d like to know more.
A story of a young black boy growing up in Miami, USA, coming to terms with his sexuality and the other pressures that he has to endure.
The narrative hits hard on issues such as bullying, drug abuse, and being black and gay in modern day America.
It’s rare to find a film that focuses on an LGBT character of colour as a main character, they’re usually a side or minor character, so we don’t get to go into the depths of their psyche.
Watch the trailer here, to get a feel of Moonlight (not to mention the amazing cinematography, too)
This film is written and directed by Barry Jenkins, who has created a brilliant screenplay based on the theatre play, “In Moonlight Black Boys Look Blue” by Tarell Alvin McCraney.
The film follows the life of Chiron, we follow his story through 3 key life stages.
Firstly we meet 9yr old Chiron, (Alex R. Hibbert), we see him being bullied by his peers and dealing with his Crack addicted Mother, Paula, (Naomie Harris), he’s a lonely little boy who has noone to confide in, no Father, is mentioned, or seen, from what I remember.
We see how he meets and forms a bond with local drug dealer, Juan. (Mahershala Ali)
Juan takes a shine to Chiron, along with his girlfriend, Teresa (Janelle Monae). They become like surrogate parents to him, and Juan is a much needed friend and father figure for Chiron in his formative years.
It’s so lovely to see the bond grow between Chiron and Juan, one of my favourite scenes is when Juan is teaching Chiron how to swim, although he is a drug dealer, we see such a loving side to Juan, I wish we got to know more of his backstory.
Next, we see Chiron as a teenager and we see how he is coping with the frustrations & bullying at school, his sexuality and his mother.
He’s desperately lonely, but luckily still has refugee at Juan & Teresa’s house, when needed (or when his mum asks him not to come home that night as she is expecting company!)
His friendship with Kevin, (Jharel Jerome) is one of few, if any genuine friendships that we see him have, but things take a dramatic change after an incident, which sees Chiron’s life take an unexpected turn.
I found it hard to hold back the tears watching Chiron go through his teenage years, I have to admit. 🙁
Later, we catch up with Chiron, (Trevante Rhodes) as a grown man. He seems more self-assured, confident, comfortable in his own skin or is it a charade, or ‘fronting’ as we call it here, lol…
We see when long time friend, Kevin, who is obviously all grown up now too (Andre Holland) gets in touch and they meet up. It’s all so awkward, so real, so raw…it’s brilliant!
The acting is superb throughout this film, so not surprised about the n0minations and wins too.
A really touching scene is when grown up Chiron and his Mum, Paula have a heart to heart, that scene is just heartbreaking.
This is a unique film, in all the right ways…you’d be a fool not to see it.
Moonlight opens in UK Cinemas, Friday 17th February 2017.
Review by Chanel Williams