By Eddy Montilla.
Directed by: Barry Jenkins (III).
Written by: Barry Jenkins (III) and Tarell Alvin McCraney.
MPAA Rating: R (Restricted, with no one under 17 admitted without an accompanying parent or guardian. The movie might content strong language and violence, nudity for sexual purposes and drug abuse.
Starring: Mahershala Ali (as Juan), Ashton Sanders (as teen Chiron), Trevante Rhodes (as adult Chiron), André Holland (as adult Kevin), Naomie Harris (as Paula)…
Running time: 111 minutes.
There are movies that you want to stop watching them just few minutes after having started; others can be seen till the end. There are movies you can remember for a particular reason and others you can’t take out of your head. Moonlight (2016) belongs to this final group.
American cinematography is full of films with plot about drugs, addiction and bullying in schools. If we judged Moonlight’s plot for these topics only, the movie would be one among a pile of similar films we already saw in the past and one among another pile with similar ideas that are probably coming in the future. Then, what does make Moonlight different and good?
The answer is the beautiful and perfect way the different components of the plot were hung together: Little (Alex Hibbert), trying to find some explanation why their parents are separated in familiar terms, but paradoxically) together in the world of drugs. The teen-age Chiron (Ashton Sanders) fighting against his demons, those that made him lose his way about his sexual orientation and finally, the incredible physical transformation of Chiron in his adulthood (Trevante Rhodes) to hide his spiritual weakness, something that can only be understood just in the last minutes of the movie.
If Mahershala Ali’s performance (Juan) was really good, I recommend you to pay more attention to the moment when Chiron, after being beaten to a pulp, instead of bringing charges against “his friend” Kevin and, above all, the class bully Patrick Decile (Terrel), he decides to settle the matter himself: His calmness and resolution when entering the classroom, the movement of his body and head, the expression of his face indicating he knew exactly what he was going to do and finally, “the sweet” hit with the chair on Terrel’s shoulder. These moments defined this movie and made it spectacular.
And that’s all about Moonlight, because when it comes to good films, a lot words are unnecessary. You just have to watch them, and period. Moonlight 2016 belongs to this group, and after that, perhaps you will not be able to take this movie out of your head for a long time. The same happened to me.
This article was originally published in the digital newspaper World And Opinion.
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