Queen & Slim Movie Review plugged in & Summary – It opens when a waiter takes two different plates from the counter to serve the table, ‘Queen & Slim‘… When the camera follows the waitress and reaches the table, we find ourselves in the middle of a first meeting where things go wrong. We are quick to learn that the couple met on a website. The man, Slim (Daniel Kaluuya), is willing and warm. Queen (Jodie Turner-Smith), a defense lawyer, is nervous and anxious because of her lost lawsuit… She says she accepted the offer to leave the house and chose Slim because of her sad expression in the photo. Slim doesn’t like what Queen says, but he doesn’t give up all hope. Expressing that she is not very pleased with the choice of restaurants, Queen does not stop being cynical and cold.
When they get into the car after dinner, the dialogue may continue, but we feel that Slim won’t reach his destination for the first evening. After all, the man will leave the woman at his house and maybe they will never see each other again. But with the racist white police stopping them, the stress of Queen and Slim’s “first meeting” is cut short and another story begins. Meanwhile, it should be reminded that they are in the state of Ohio, USA, where racism is part of everyday life.
Undoubtedly, we are watching a fictional movie. But we know that everything the racist police does to Queen and Slim, based on the authority given by the law, is equivalent in real life, and similar incidents are constantly happening in the USA. Therefore, ‘Queen & Slim’ is a movie that comes out of the daily life in the USA … No matter how extreme the story goes, knowing that the police violence we witness is not exaggerated gives the film a solid ground and a realistic dimension
After all, it is possible to talk about a kind of “civil war” that has not been officially named in the United States today, which flares up in places. We know that the previous president Trump increased this tension. Besides, the movie takes place in Trump USA …
Undoubtedly, the federal legal system is still functioning in the USA and there is no monophonic media supporting only racists, but we know that the interracial tension in the country has not been eradicated for years. It would undoubtedly be a dream to think that the newly elected president Biden would also eliminate the problem … In short, life in the USA is not easy for people of African descent. In racist states like Ohio, the impartiality and independence of the law are also open to discussion.
“Queen & Slim” is about the deadlock of two blacks living in such an environment. They are both decent people who stay away from all kinds of crimes, but because of their race, they can be persecuted by the white police at any time.
Queen and Slim Review plugged in & Summary – When a lawyer like Queen, who did not commit a crime at the time of the incident, said, “Let’s run away!” On the other hand, it is possible to understand his reaction when we consider that they live in a state where there is no justice for blacks. “When you get caught as a criminal and the property of the state, you’re done,” Queen tells Slim.
There are white cops in the movie as well as non-racist white cops who help them devotedly. On the other hand, they cannot trust every African American, as Queen said in one scene. There is a sensitive side to the film that approaches good and evil regardless of race. But ‘Queen & Slim’ is based on the idea that society is actually divided into two. Throughout the film, we see that African Americans lead a life that is disconnected from whites within themselves… Indeed, the main problem highlighted by the film lies in this division.
Some people see them as criminals while others glorify them as heroes. There are also African Americans who do not support what they do. It should not be forgotten that the auto mechanic said, “If I was at your place, I would take my punishment and go to my house”. When we see the extreme point of events, it may be possible to say “This is the right attitude!” But this is exactly what the white supremacists want, isn’t it actually? Black’s fear of the police; fear of death, violence and law; Their acceptance that the USA is a country of white people… On the other hand, the film underlines that the cycle of violence will bring nothing to African Americans.
“Queen & Slim” undoubtedly brings to mind Arthur Penn’s classic masterpiece “Bonnie and Clyde” (1967). Because they keep running from the police and committing minor crimes along the way. But I think that there is a ‘Thelma and Louise’ (1991) spirit in the film… Besides, it should not be forgotten that gender discrimination and racial discrimination are essentially the same. One is based on the superiority argument of whites of European descent, the other of men.
Queen and Slim Review plugged in & Summary – There is a deep relationship between the two films. ‘Thelma and Louise’ is built on a desperate rebellion. Male-dominated society leads Thelma to crime. Thelma will either continue to be crushed within the system or will rebel and seek its freedom. It is difficult to say that the situation is very different for Queen and Slim. In the first, we witness the solidarity of women, and in the second, those who have been victims of racism throughout their lives… In both films, the characters want to enjoy their time together while fleeing law and oppression; they truly long for freedom.
‘Queen & Slim’ is an increasingly emotional movie. But he is not concerned about exploiting the audience’s feelings. I think the dialogues were written well from the very first scenes. The audience is not given so much information about the characters, but during the conversations in the restaurant and in the car before the police turn, we can get enough idea about both characters. Conflicts and conflicts between them continue for a long time; Details such as Queen’s annoyance with some of Slim’s features are nice… They stand out with their opposite sides like romantic comedy characters. Slim is a devout Christian; Queen says she’s a faithless in one scene… Slim is optimistic, naive, sincere and excited. Queen, on the other hand, is nervous and calm… Most importantly, Queen is a more mature person who has suffered severe pain in her past compared to Slim. It is also the Queen who changes emotionally throughout the journey.
Queen and Slim Review & Summary – Incidentally, British model and actress Jodie Turner-Smith is in Queen; It should be noted that Daniel Kaluuya, whom we know with his films such as “Get Out” and “Black Panther”, also gave successful performances in Slim.
I think the side characters in the movie are also well written. For example, the character of Uncle Earl (Bokeem Woodbine), who never recovered after his return from the Iraq War… We should not forget his adolescent activist son, who stands in stark contrast to the pacifist auto mechanic. They both represent endpoints. But the film certainly does not have to be politically instructive or guiding. On the contrary, the film has an emotional and rebellious approach that holds the two main characters next to it.
Lena Waithe avoids big statements and determinations about the actual state of racism in the USA in the script she wrote with James Frey and focuses entirely on the psychology and mood of the characters. Queen and Slim are not drawn into heroes as very resourceful, perfect people.
Director Melina Matsoukas prefers to put the moods of her two main characters at the center of everything while combining the thriller element and the sense of road story in her first feature feature film. A director known for his video clips and commercials for names such as Melina Matsoukas, Rihanna and Beyoncé… ‘In Queen & Slim, she avoids unnecessary ornaments and excesses and makes a solid formally.
‘Queen & Slim‘ seemed to me more hopeless and pessimistic compared to the films ‘Get Out‘, ‘BlacKkKlansman‘, ‘Antebellum‘ and ‘Da Five Bloods‘ that I watched recently, but I was not disturbed by that. On the contrary, I thought it was an honest attitude. After all, some generations cannot look to the future with hope… Their works are like screams of alarm… ‘I think we should look at Queen & Slim’s rebellious melancholy with this perspective.
“Queen & Slim”, which had its world premiere at the AFI Fest organized by the American Film Institute on November 14, 2019, attracted attention by making more than twice its budget at the box office.
Finally, I would like to mention that he has a nice soundtrack with his songs and the soundtrack by Devonté Hynes.
Queen and Slim Review & Summary – 7/10