Queen and Slim

‘Queen & Slim’ is in the same mould as the Warren Beatty/Faye Dunaway classic ‘Bonnie and Clyde’. Having a pair of fugitives as protagonists, such films want you to follow them on a journey. ‘Queen & Slim’ adds several topical ingredients making it more enticing. By exploring issues of racial prejudice, poverty and love, it consistently captivates. Under Melinda Matsoukas’ steady direction, ‘Queen & Slim’ packs a punch as it hurtles towards a fiery conclusion.

Queen (Jodie Turner-Smith) and Slim (Daniel Kaluuya) are African Americans out on their first date. When pulled over by a racist cop for a minor traffic violation, trouble starts. Events swiftly escalate with a dead cop and the pair going on the run. Becoming fodder for a hungry media, Queen and Slim do what they can in order to escape the law. Becoming a symbol of mistreated youth, their media-driven notoriety reaches all corners of America. This level of fame isn’t what they bargained for as they fight for survival.

‘Queen and Slim’ is an engrossing romantic drama. Queen’s loner demeanour is the polar opposite of Slim’s spontaneous nature. Opposites don’t necessarily attract but circumstances force them to work together. Their developing relationship is believably realised. Their reactions to those whom they meet reveals a lot about themselves and the differing nature of notoriety.

The themes ‘Queen and Slim’ deliver are well conveyed by the strong cast. Turner-Smith and Kaluuya display genuine chemistry, making following their plight more interesting. Their co-stars equally shine as does the cinematography which adds to the story’s general ambiance.

Whilst ‘Queen and Slim’ is a movie filled with important messages, it isn’t a dull history lesson. It’s relatable and often moving with an atmosphere all its own. Whether you agree with their actions or not, ‘Queen and Slim’s central characters inhabit a world feeling all too real which is a key to the film’s success.

Rating out of 10: 8


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