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Queen and Slim Movie Review

According to Citylab.com, “in the U.S. African Americans are 2.5 times more likely to be killed by police than white people.” Although a daunting statistic, this was just a portion of the new released film directed by Melina Matsouka, Queen and Slim. This movie depicts the perceived heroism of a black male, Slim played by Daniel Kaluuya and a black female Queen, that was played by Jodie Turner-Smith. The movie was generally a 6 day date that ended in utter tragedy.

via GIPHY

You may be wondering why I started this post with such a political quote. I am never sure about the accuracy of statistics yet this quote is quite believable considering every news outlet or video I view lately is about a black male getting murdered by a police officer.

{Researchers from Nevada] found that roughly 1-in-1,000 black boys and men will be killed by the police in their lifetime.

citylab.com

Although this story revolved around a murder it was not a cop shooting a black male. If you are looking for an impactful movie depicting the effects of police brutality I would suggest you watch ,Netflix’s American Son, or the news. Ok, now let’s get into the movie. 

Movie Summary

The movie is initially set in a restaurant. This was Queen and Slim first date and it was not going so well. Queen was a saucy lawyer that prefers to be alone, but on this particular day she perused her Tinder account and asked Slim on a date. Slim was a pastor or a part of a ministry that looked out for those in his community and was very family oriented. He appeared to abide by the rules, didn’t drink alcohol and he was very positive, yet Queen realism overshadowed all of his goodness.

After the most awkward date, Slim is driving Queen home and proceeds to get his phone back from Queen causing him to swerve the car. A cop car comes out of nowhere and pulls them over. Slim was very humble while Queen was assertive with the cop. The cop called in the license plate but refused backup. The cop then asks Slim out of the car and he follows all of the orders from the cop. Everything looked like it was going well until the cop started searching the trunk and Slim commented about being cold. The cop snaps, throws Slim to the ground causing Queen to jump out of the car, once again asserting herself. In the heat of the moment the cop shoots at Queen grazing her thigh. At this point Slim and the cop are wrestling on the ground and Slim grabs the gun and shoots the cop dead.

Confused, saddened and shocked, Slim pauses while Queen suggests they keep going.

Slim eventually hops in the car and after a lengthy argument they decided to head to New Orleans to get help from Queen’s uncle. On the road they ran out of gas and hopped in a truck with a stranger that turned out to be a Sheriff. The sheriff found them out and they ended up locking this guy in the trunk and stealing his car. To me, this is where the journey begins.

I don’t want to give away the enter the movie, so I will not go into details about the journey. I will say when they arrived at New Orleans they receive help from the Uncle that would lead them to a flight to Cuba. They had to first visit one of her Uncle’s friends who would then give them the information for the flight. Along the way they met with a kid that saw them as heroes and mimicked their actions similar to the message of the movie “The Hate You Give”. When they arrived at the Uncle’s house, I thought they would get caught but this guy had a plethora of hiding places in his house. The wife of the uncle’s friend did not want any part of this and mentioned their bounty of $50,000 would pay off their mortgage. She did eventually play along but she was against it.

After escaping the police again, they reached their next to last destination meeting with the guy that would connect them to a flight out of the country. I mean they took a long trip from Ohio to Florida and was finally faced with the plane that would lead them to their freedom. Steps away from the plane, they hear sirens. Did they make it to Cuba? If you are asking this stop reading now and go see the movie.

via GIPHY

For those who saw it, we know that they did not. They were sold out, not by the Uncle’s white friend but by the Black male that had connections to the escape plane. I am mentioning race for a reason…wait for it.

My Point of View

Overall, this movie was the modern day, um…I could not quite think of a movie to compare this to. It could not be Bonnie and Clyde because they were repeating their crimes …but they were definitely on the run.  It was an interesting journey for an emotional closed off woman and a man Bible abiding man to fall in love. It was a love story with a political twist.

“We wanted Queen and Slim to represent all of us,” Matsoukas said during the The Weeksville Heritage Center screening. “All of us women are Queens, and Slim is obviously a name that Black men are called quite frequently, and we wanted our community to see themselves reflected in these characters.”

– Melina Matsouka

< https://www.oprahmag.com/entertainment/tv-movies/a29963826/queen-and-slim-spoilers-symbolism/>

The Heroism Behind the Crime

The cop that was murdered was tried a couple of years back for killing an innocent black man and was found “not guilty”. How many times has this happened in reality? Even still killing cops is not the answer if anything I think it would worsen the problem. In the movie most people characterized this as justice finally being served. The justice system is constantly letting these blatant murderers free and the perception was Queen and Slim depicted action. Once again I don’t think we should go around killing cops but I will comment that I think it is sad that it so bad out here that victory is found at the demise of someone else.

The downfall of their actions was when a young black boy killed an officer at a riot.  One would think it was even worse that a black boy would kill a black cop but statistically speaking the race of a cop is not a key factor in police killings. Per Citylab.com, “Black and Latino victims of police killings were most likely to have been shot by Black and Latino Cops”.

The Journey

There two journeys depicted in this movie. The first journey was the obvious one that consisted of them fleeing the country. The second journey were the small footprints towards love. Queen and Slim found their purpose in each other. The once guarded Queen began to let down her guards and allow Slim to make some decisions. The sober Slim blew caution to the wind and took a little drink and adventure along the way. Within those 6 days they became soul mates while leaving a legacy of hope for the world. I honestly don’t think they knew how much of an impact they were making since they did not have access to their cellphones. They were more engulfed in each other and possibly spending their lives together.

The Ending

“We also wanted to speak to how Black bodies and Black lives are often more honored in death than in life,” the director says. “And we don’t get to know who these people actually are until they’re no longer with us.”

– Melina Matsouka

 <https://www.oprahmag.com/entertainment/tv-movies/a29963826/queen-and-slim-spoilers-symbolism/>
 
 

The ending was sort of predictable, I was hoping they would ride out to paradise. Perhaps they would’ve if greed did not overtake the Black man that sold them out.

“Like the Black man who sells them out, he’s a victim of capitalism… In that moment you’re not thinking of values, you’re just thinking of ‘How am I gonna eat?’ And that’s what that man is thinking of in that moment. He’s thinking of himself as an individual and has sold out the community in order for his own individual growth, and that’s all of us. We have to deal with that in or community. How do we do that? How do we support each other? How do we unify?”

– Melina Matsouka

 <https://www.oprahmag.com/entertainment/tv-movies/a29963826/queen-and-slim-spoilers-symbolism/

On the other hand, this guy ruined a genuine love story. Perhaps by selling them out, he gave them the freedom they would never have on Earth. They would always be on the run. Yet in still, the romantic in me wanted them to win. Perhaps, they did.

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