Chudi and Noel, the winners of our ‘Moonlight’ competition, review the film that everyone is talking about
I had seen the trailer for Moonlight months beforehand and had been eagerly waiting its release ever since .
I was elated when I managed to win a pair of tickets to a early screening via BlackoutUK and B3 Media and the film didn’t disappoint, it depicted the true story of young a black boy ‘Chiron’, in a coming of age story in a not so classic way.
Chiron battles to fit in socially and at school, against a backdrop of coming to terms with his own sexuality. A struggle which isn’t helped by the fact that his single parent mother is a crack addict played by Naomi Harris and offers no shoulder to cry in his time of need.
A ray of hope comes in the form of mentor ‘Juan’ (Mahershala Ali ) who, although a drug dealer, becomes an unexpected father figure and role model who accepts Chiron for who he is.
Juan’s girlfriend’ Taressa’ (Janelle Monae) is also as caring and stable mother figure to young Chiron, to whom he often escapes to for sanity in his crazy dark reality of life.
There is a promising friendship with childhood friend Kevin who seems to be the one person at school that has his back and they share a unique bond of sexual exploration, but a school yard dare threatens to break their friendship for good, taking the narrative to a dark place. The film tracks their friendship over three decades and eventually they reconnect after many years apart.
Although the film has emotional highs and many heart breaking themes, it is also inspiring and life affirming. Many of the audience were left in tears in response to many scenes and the content is relatable to not just a black gay audience but beyond.
The film is already receiving significant media buzz, including winning Best Picture at this year’s Golden Globes. Critical acclaim which looks like it might turn into Oscar nominations.
The soundtrack and glossy and edgy cinematography only serve to keep the audience engaged, the cast hold their own and the three Chiron’s from boy, teenager to man were beautifully cast.
The film is a much needed departure from the typical bubble gum gay genre films. If only out of curiosity, I would have liked to see where Chiron and Kevin’s relationship may lead that’s just the hopeless romantic in me. Their relationship alone was enough to have the audience wanting more. Definitely a must watch for any discerning cinema goer.
Noel is a London-based singer songwriter
Moonlight takes the audience on a journey to witness a realistic chronological experience of a young man’s transition from childhood to adulthood.
Through the lead characters personal struggles which are captured during three life stages the audience will surely be touched internally, many will connect and be reminded of their own inner turmoil or difficulties of the past and even the present regarding finding, accepting and honouring one’s true identity.
Superbly written, cleanly shot and set to a mature soundtrack this film stands out within its genre because it is not your typical love story. Though Moonlight tells a story of a first love it is unpredictable, truthful and treats the audience to a relatable story of life and love and all the complications that they sometimes present. Moonlight is a must see for 2017.