Moonlight is a film everyone has been buzzing about. Online reviewers have raved about this film and it did win Best Picture at the Golden Globes earlier this year. Even though it’s not my favorite film of the year, I can absolutely see why. Naomie Harris gives a heartbreaking performance that is getting her award nominations and Mahershala Ali has a great performance. It’s really the story that is told here which transforms a person in an environment from a young boy to an adult because no one understands him. And it’s devastating.
The film shows a young boy named Chiron grow up through the film and is broken up in three sections through his development. Chiron, known as Little, is bullied through his childhood and is given shelter from all people a drug dealer named Juan (played by Ali) after he finds him hiding from the kids bullying him in an abandoned house used for drug use. Ali and his girlfriend Teresa (played by Janelle Monae) care for Little and Juan soon finds out that Little’s living situation is also ridded with pain as Little’s mother Paula (played by Harris) is a drug addict along with her boyfriend. Little does have another childhood friend named Kevin who we see through the years while Little grows into Chiron.
Years pass and we meet Chiron, no longer going by Little, in high school in the same situation. This is where it becomes more evident that Chiron is lost and it becomes more difficult in this period of his life for Chiron to find someone who understands him. This is where the film takes a turn as there is a brutal scene that transforms Chiron into his adulthood. This is a film that is a great character study of someone that is treated as an outcast for not being like other people in a different environment than we’re used to seeing in a film. It is also a film thats cast is entirely African American, something else I don’t believe I’ve ever seen before, which has been a long time coming and shouldn’t have taken this long. Moonlight absolutely deserves all the accolades it is getting and is a film that will be talked about for years to come. This is also Barry Jenkins first full length feature film and what a start!
Moonlight gets an 8/10