A film deeply rooted in both lyrics and characters, Moonlight is a balancing act that is breathtaking to watch. It’s one of the rare movies that focus entirely on the characters while also tackling themes. It is a film that reflects deep and complex themes, mainly through its characters. Jenkins’ film is compelling all around for how critics can use the term.
Moonlight is a film about a young African-American man and his growth, presented as three stations in his life, like a triptych panel. There is power and generosity in this film, and it’s like being given an intravenous dose because you have full access to his thoughts and feelings. It’s the kind of movie that makes you mentally smart and physically light.
The main character is called Black. He’s macho, built in the gym, and has gold teeth. A man of few words. He got out of prison and started a new life far from his hometown of Miami, eventually ending up in Atlanta, Georgia. But Black has a secret. That’s what he protects from others, and perhaps even from himself: he’s gay but how did he get here?
As a child he’s referred to as Little (Alex Hibbert), usually getting picked on, concerned about his drug-addicted mom, Paula (Naomie Harris). As a teen, he’s regarded via the means of his given name Chiron. Now he’s performed via way of means of Ashton Sanders, and he’s recognisably the equal kid, handiest a chunk older, slight, spindly, gawky, with a watchful silence. It may be a protective approach towards the vicious bullying he endures from Terrel (Patrick Decile), a man who has a malicious 6th sense for Chiron`s developing courting with classmate Kevin.
Finally, because of rage, self-hate and prison time, Chiron bulks up, grows new layers of muscle and becomes unrecognisable in his ultimate evolutionary degree of development: reinventing himself as Black (Trevante Rhodes). Then he receives a telecel smartphone name from his past: Kevin (André Holland), is now out of jail himself, an absent father, operating as a chef.
“I cry so much sometimes I might turn to drops,” confesses Chiron to Kevin, and, as for so many men, growing up for him is the search for ways to cauterise sadness, to anaesthetise it with rage. Moonlight finds a way to convert it into happiness. The film is streaming on Amazon Prime Video.
Have you seen the film? What are your feelings?