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Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Moonlight (2016)

Set in a downtrodden section of Miami, a young black boy (Alex Hibbert) grows into a teenager (Ashton Sanders) and finally a man (Trevante Rhodes) all the while struggling to define who he is. As a boy, he briefly finds a mentor (Mahershala Ali) but it's a journey he must travel on his own. Based on the play by Tarell Alvin McCraney and adapted for the screen and directed by Barry Jenkins. This is a beautiful film, something really special. The film is wonderful in defying your expectations, it avoids stereotypes and provides three dimensional characters acted by an impeccable ensemble. Jenkins avoids the cliches of urban dramas about young black men, there's no gunfire, no "ho"s, no rap music underscore, no exploitation by the white man (indeed the film has no Caucasian characters at all). But it's still raw and real yet there are scenes of genuine beauty. Yet one doesn't have to be black to identify with the protagonist's sense of loneliness and longing to be touched by someone yet afraid of the very thing you desire the most. A must see for anyone interested in quality cinema. The incredible cast includes Naomie Harris (in an Oscar worthy performance), Janelle Monae, Andre Holland, Jharrel Jerome and Jaden Piner. 

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