Moonlight – review

Moonlight follows the story of Chiron, at three different points in his life as a boy, as a teenager and as a young man. He doesn’t have a particularly fun life, he is bullied at school, his mum is a drug addict and the only father figure he has in his life is a drug dealer. From here we follow his life and how he struggles with who he is, and how he absorbs the influences from those around him.

Based on an (unpublished) play called In The Moonlight Black Boys Look Blue. The movie is a coming of age drama, sort of about nothing and everything at the same time. While being a series of firsts – first LGBT to win Best Picture Oscar, first all-black cast to win Best Picture Oscar, first Muslim to win Best Actor Oscar, is Moonlight being applauded for the sake of diversity or is it worthy of all the accolades?

Well Moonlight certainly is an interesting watch, a slow paced film, with a very small amount of dialogue, and it feels very personal, it has a great use of colour and the constant reoccurrence of water imagery and an almost hypnotic quality to it, technically some of the shots are very impressive. It is well worth a watch, but I can’t see myself wanting to watch it again anytime soon.

The acting was very good from everyone involved, but from all three leads in particular, even though they looked quite different (deliberately so for the third actor) you still know the character is who he is from his mannerisms and how he interacts with those around him and how he copes and responds to certain situations.

Yes being a young black man from a poor background, realising that he is gay is an integral part of the story it is these aspects of his background and persona that determine his life choices. For example he mimics the identity of the one adult who he could look up to, who accepted him without any hesitation. But does he realise this is who he is mimicking and why.

Yet at the same time Moonlight can’t be put into boxes, it isn’t necessarily about these things, but it makes for a much more interesting film. It is about how we are influenced by those around us and how our identity is constantly evolving and not determined by just one thing.

Moonlight is definitely a more worthy winner of the Best Picture Oscar than La La Land and worth a watch.