Moonlight was the film I never knew I needed. Up until this point in my life film has always been a pleasure, never a necessity. But the moment this movie came along I knew this was something I had to see for myself. Friends of mine had been telling me for a month, you need to see this. Not should, not you would like this, but that I needed to see it. I’ve been told before I need to see a movie but never did I feel an urgency to see a film like this one. How was it ever supposed to live up to that kind of hype? How could anything live up to such expectations?
Moonlight surpassed every single one I had. I knew from the trailer that I would love this movie, but it wasn’t until I saw it that I understood why my friends demanded I saw it. It was everything I’ve ever wanted and needed in a film. Each and every element was something I longed for in every film I watch. Some films may have great dialogue but lack a visual presence, others have great actors but the plot is riddled with inconsistencies, and some just never really go anywhere. This film had a point. It had heartbreaking moments. It felt genuine in so many ways. Never have I seen a film that blew my mind with every little detail. Often I ask myself, what would I have done instead? How could this have been improved? What was this missing?
I couldn’t find anything at fault here. Admittedly when it ended the first time I said is that it?
It wasn’t that I was disappointed, but I wanted more. I wanted to see what would become of Chiron. I let in sink in for a bit as I reflected on everything I just saw. I then realized there was nothing more that needed to be said. It ended exactly as it should have.
The movie touched me in a way that has left me changed. The themes and portrayals of relationships was what connected with me the most. Everyone can relate to the struggles of finding yourself and trying to really define who you are and what you want to be. It’s something that we go through during every stage of our life from childhood until adulthood. True, I am not like the protagonist in the sense that I didn’t grow up in poverty, I’ve had healthy relationships with my friends and family, and there was never a war on drugs where I grew up. But regardless of those specific details, I still found myself connecting with Chiron more than anyone else I’ve seen on screen. I left the theater crying, something I really don’t do because in the end a film is just a film. But this connected with me. The film was beautiful and poignant, with cinematography that kept my eyes glued the entire time. The acting was so heartfelt and real, conversations between Chiron and his mother, and the other figures in his life felt real. The intimacy within the scenes whether they be personal or sexual were never gratuitous. I myself don’t care for excessive violence or sexuality, especially if it doesn’t move along the plot, but every scene shown was necessary. Nothing more, nothing less. Moonlight showed me life is neither black nor white, nothing is very clear, it’s blue, a color that important within the film. Life can be blue in the sense that it can be sad like falling tears, but it can also be blue like the sea, beautiful and mysterious.
Life itself can be so gorgeous but so painful simultaneously, something Moonlight was able to translate successfully onto the big screen. As Kevin said to Chiron in the film, sometimes you just have to roll with it.
10/10 it seems like a mighty long time since I’ve loved a film this much.