Towards the end of last year, I came across a special movie from a genre that I had mentioned that we barely see enough of these days. Enter Moonlight, a movie that deserves to be mentioned in same breath if not more. Destined to be great right off the bat just by looking at the cast, Moonlight is unique in its approach and content. It’s a fearless movie that challenges viewers in many aspects told through one young man’s story.
Definitely not for the faint hearted, Moonlight includes several uncomfortable moments that form part of what makes it special. The moment I got the invite to check out it out, I couldn’t help but be excited mainly because I had already heard and seen so many great things about it, some even claiming that it was one of the best movies of 2016.
Receiving universal acclaim upon its release, critics regard Moonlight as one of the best films of 2016, with the praise stemming from the acting, direction, screenplay, cinematography, subject matter and score. To date the film has won Best Motion Picture – Drama at the 74th Golden Globe Awards, and was nominated in five other categories. It doesn’t end there as its also received eight Oscar nominations at the 89th Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Director and Best Adapted Screenplay. Quite impressive, right?
So, what’s it based on?
Moonlight is a tender, heartbreaking story of a young man’s struggle to find himself, told across three defining chapters in his life as he experiences the ecstasy, pain, and beauty of falling in love, while grappling with his own sexuality.
The above all sounds too simplistic, in a way it is, however that doesn’t mean that the content across all three chapters in the story follow suit, far from it in fact. The performances rendered across most if not all the cast members are very powerful with both Naomie Harris and Mahershala Ali standing out particularly and doing what they do best. Harris especially staking a strong claim for many individual honours solely based on her brilliant portrayal of a single mother battling with drug addiction.
Not the usual thing I would go to the movies to especially watch, however with the current #OscarBuzz Ster-Kinekor currently has going, with that current way of thinking, one would be missing out on a whole host of great movies that also include the much-anticipated Fences amongst others.
Cast – Trevante Rhodes, André Holland, Janelle Monáe, Ashton Sanders, Jharrel Jerome, Naomie Harris & Mahershala Ali
Director – Barry Jenkins
Genre – Drama film
Running Time – 1h 51 minutes
I’m glad I did take the chance and watched Moonlight, yes it’s a bit uncomfortable in parts and is different from what we’re accustomed to seeing these days but what it does prove is that great storytelling still exists and always wins. It’s not perfect but it’s brave and quite raw in what it does, that’s why it gets a 3.5 out of 5 rating from me.
*Special thanks as always to Ster-Kinekor for the invite.