Friday, December 9, 2016
Moonlight (a movie review post)
When someone asks you what a movie is about, there are two ways of answering: You can give them a synopsis of the plot, or you can tell them what the movie is about. Generally, I choose to do the latter. Anyone can look up a plot synopsis (or, if we're talking books, read the back cover), but that's not necessarily going to tell you if you want see the movie. Sometimes, though, all you can do is give a plot synopsis.
What is it I'm saying here? Well, don't ask me what Moonlight is about, because all I can tell you is that it's about a black boy and his journey to adulthood and figuring out who he is.
Is it good? Well... it's okay. Okay, no, it's good. Yeah, it's good, but it's just not really more than good. I mean, it's been more than a week since we saw it, and I still can't tell you what it's about. Not anymore than that it's about growing up. And, well, I suppose that's enough, but I don't feel like I came away from the movie with anything that I didn't go in with. Honestly, upon reflection, it reminds me too much of Boyhood but without having taken twelve years to film.
The acting was good, though, especially Mahershala Ali. Unfortunately, there's not enough of him in the movie.
The movie is told in three sections, each one dealing with a different life stage of Chiron: childhood, adolescence, and adulthood. Each of the actors for the three chapters does a good job with the role. They are all believable. However, Ashton Sanders, who plays Chiron the teenager, may be the best of the three. He is awkward and fumbling and doesn't seem to know how to wear his own skin, much less his clothes, but, then, with a drug-addict mother, he's somewhat fortunate to have any clothes at all.
Really, this isn't a movie for everyone. Or, even, for most. It has moments, and I'm glad I saw it, but it's not a movie I'll want to watch again or, even, a movie I would suggest to anyone that they needed to see. It's the kind of thing that's worth a watch if you're presented with the opportunity to see it, like the book you pick up in the airport because you might as well, right? Probably don't rush out to see it in the theater is what I'm saying.