Why you need to be watching Academy darling Moonlight!
Genre: Indie Film/Coming of age
Where to Watch: Streaming on Amazon Prime Video
The cold water threatened to swallow him up. Strong black arms held him up, lifting his body upwards so he wouldn’t drown. So he wouldn’t get lost in the dark waters that threatened to make him a part of it. So that he could breathe in the fresh air of freedom for a bit longer.
This is a scene from Moonlight that I can relate with, and draw parallels to the entire story.
The waters that threatened to drown Chiron here, was the volatility of his drug-abusing mother. The mental torture inflicted by her spurts of unpredictability, which seeped over to his real-life persona. He desperately sought the love which he never got from his mother or his classmates.
His rough childhood was about to drown him.
That is when like a messiah, the Afro-Cuban Juan finds him. Provides a pair of strong hands for Chiron to finally close his eyes, and fall upon.
But the irony here is that Juan was the drug dealer, who supplied drugs to Chiron’s mother- the indirect cause of his traumatizing childhood. However, he is also the one who teaches Chiron that one can always choose his path in life. The one who taught Chiron to swim against the tides.
And the same carries over to this very scene as well. Juan provides a strong pair of hands who holds on to Chiron so that he doesn’t drown. He teaches Chiron to swim through the rough waters.
But the most ironic fact of them all is that Juan is the one who put Chiron into the waters.
The Charm of Moonlight
Moonlight is a film that is every bit deserving of its hype; with well-placed camera shots, and editing – it is a visual treat. Adding the layered performances of every actor who comes into the focus of the camera, it is the sort of story you’d never want to get over.
Divided into three segments, I could not decide which part I liked more. Each one was a masterpiece in itself. The first told of a boy’s bonding. The second of a teenager exploring his inner sides. And the third of an adult coming to grips with the inner self he had repressed for so long.
Such strong writing. Such natural dialogues. And the background score was perfectly blended with a mix of hip-hop and orchestral music being chopped and screwed in. It only elevated the movie even more.
Chiron’s love interest, Kevin was the only one of his age who accepted him. And that acceptance was all Chiron needed to fall right for him. In terms of writing, I don’t remember any other romance that worked out so perfectly in the recent past.
The entire movie is a Journey of a young black boy connecting with himself.
And in the end, he comes out, not as black but as little, shrouded in the moonlight.