Lonnie On Queen And Slim
I make a case that the overall message of Queen and Slim, by Director Melina Matsoukas, written by Lena Waithe and James Frey, is, Moors support Moors, as told in the film's opening scene using eggs, a symbol of beginning.
Queen, played by the beautiful and convincing Jodie Turner-Smith, and Slim, played by the veteran A-List pro, Daniel Kaluuya, begin their journey trying to like each other, but not having knowledge of self makes socializing clumsy. Queen wants a King, a man who can bring out the her in her. Slim wants his Dad, like many down-trodden do.
One unexpected event swiftly whisks the two away on a clothes-changing, hair-cutting path, on which two people who barely know each other become all each other has.
I like the sword reference, touché, recognizing a point, when Queen realizes that she’s not on a cheap first date, but in fact eating with a conscious man in one of few black-owned businesses in Cleveland, Ohio, like in any U.S. city.
The message for doing such seems to be the threat of death, because in the next scene, a Rabid Cop pulls them over and despite complying with police requests, when they don’t have to, the Rabid Cop shoots Queen and Slim kills the Rabid Cop in self-defense.
While on the run, they experience strong connections to their people, even those who disagree, because none, including friends of different nationalities, will turn them in.
Queen’s intuition is to be trusted simply because she’s a woman. Yet, Slim has a sixth sense that allows him to know other peoples’ intentions. When Slim says, “We’re good,” I trust that uninterrupted, I’m going to be able to enjoy them falling in love dancing in each other’s arms. Young people need to see dark bodies falling in love. Thank you, Casting Director, Producers and anyone else involved in talent choices.
Queen and Slim’s possible futures paths are likened to a fence on which no matter how far or fast they go, on one side field-working prisoners toil their lives away, and on the other side, horses wait for those who have never ridden, like paths unknown.
Consistent derogatory references to women make it no surprise that Queen ends up being the image of a whore in a mini leopard dress and white go-go boots even though she’s an attorney. At first glance, I don’t like this and I want to berate the filmmaker. At second glance, I have to remember what Queen said, “Hide in plain sight,” and unfortunately so many young women dressed as whores made it perfectly logical for that intelligent, degreed Moor to dress as a whore. I love it and I hate it at the same time. I love the story-telling. I hate the reality.
One tense gas station seen addresses a true threat to America in the form of disturbed, Anglo-Saxon youth. Again, this scene is an example that Slim is psychic, because as twisted as the Gas Station Attendant is, Slim is so sure that the young Anglo-Saxon will not hurt him that he gives his pistol to the young Anglo-Saxon to play with for a moment in exchange for gas. Repeated decisions such as this convince me that Slim made the right decision in shooting the Rabid Cop, which puts them on that fence with prison or worse on one side, and nothing but a chance on the other side.
A wonderful message is to seize and to enjoy a moment, doing things for the first time, dancing, riding a horse, making love. Such decisions carried me, soothed me, and made me proud of Queen and Slim and admire them, because they’re cool.
One subplot involves a confused young man who misunderstands his environment and misinterprets his heroes, Queen and Slim, which leads to him aiming a pistol into the face of someone like himself in every way, except he’s a cop.
For overall action and entertainment, but especially, because of the message that Moor’s only protection is each other, I recommend Queen and Slim as a message of binding to Moors. I am here in the setting of Queen and Slim, Cleveland, Ohio where the last time in life I called the cops for help, I was defenseless, facing gunfire from a gunman who fled; yet, the cops arrested me, simply because I had been arrested before.
My mind first goes back to when I was 12 years-old on a 12-story rooftop in downtown Cleveland where Prospect Avenue, Huron Avenue, and East 9th Street meet at about midnight. I was up there to throw raw eggs on homosexual prostitutes giving blow jobs in an alley. When pale cops chased a down an unarmed brother and shot him in the back for stealing food from a convenience store. Maybe I should have thrown all my eggs at those cops. Oh Yeah, I, like several others, will feel Queen and Slim from particular eyes.
The cinematography does well to convince of heartfelt moments such as dancing in the bar wherein Queen’s purposeful and pretty voice over rocks me with the poetic line, “Someone to know my scars, but not make them go away.” I say, Oewww Wee, you got me.
Of course, supporting actors, Bokeem Woodbine, Chloë Sevingy, Flea, Sturgil Simpson, Jahi Di’Allo Winston and so many others all showing brilliance, contributed to a story that keeps me fixed throughout. Queen and Slim’s every scene has such magical, poetic quality and all other qualities necessary to make this film a classic. I look forward to seeing more from this group.
Lonnie B EL writes education and entertainment for Moorish-American.com, oversees The Moorish Psychology Association, and hosts “LONNIE’S SHOW” on Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCovWfXMGzwcwD95ttNu_y5A?view_as=subscriber
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