Queen & Slim is modern day film that defines the term ride or die. Queen & Slim is also in my opinion one of the most underrated films of 2019. A tinder date gone wrong, well, there was a little potential, turns deadly when the two “lovebirds” get pulled over and things escalate to what the couple weren’t prepared to handle. What seems to be a routine stop for a busted taillight, the white policeman then opens fire on Queen for not complying, shoots her in the leg which forces Slim to step in and shoot the officer in self-defense when he came after him. It’s not like Queens & Slim are acting suspicious, Queen is a criminal defense lawyer. Queen attempts to deescalate the situation but, it doesn’t help, the two are minorities who kill a white cop. The logical next step is to run. If they stay they will be imprisoned and hated for the rest of their lives. Queen and Slim don’t see eye to eye at first but, what follows on their journey blossoms into a relationship like no other. On the run from the law, the country is divided on if they should be captured or set free. They move from state to state, change appearances, take iconic photos and start a revolution. I was honestly shocked when entering the theater for this film and how empty it was. I thought the trailers were excellent and the film blew me away.
Queen (Jodi Smith-Turner) and Slim (Daniel Kaluuya) give extraordinary performances as they get wrapped up in a situation majority of us couldn’t imagine. They could have just split up after the date and gone their separate ways, chalk it up as a bad date and never see each other again, instead, they decide to go on the run together. Labeled as cop killers, this story reflects a lot of what happens in society today. In this story like so many others, the media is the biggest threat to the couple. Luckily, there are several good Samaritans who see beyond color and bias and lend a helping hand despite having the country call for their deaths. The hope is that Queen & Slim avoid capture and ultimately become martyrs.
This film is absolutely tragic, yet charming. They fell in love with each other in 6 days under unfortunate circumstances, yet they were able to become soulmates. The word legacy is such a powerful word when it comes to these two. When Queen turns her head to Slim and says “You are my legacy” in that moment nothing else mattered, all they needed were each other, two people became one. Nothing could ever come between them no matter what. I couldn’t pick my jaw off the floor as you learn who actually betrayed them. The writing and script showcase incredibly tough situations that a lot of minority groups face every day; Daniel and Jodie embodied these two characters perfectly.
If you think for a second you can trust someone blindly while you’re labeled a cop killer while being manhunted across the country, think again. Both are reserved even when they make it to Uncle Earl (Bokeem Woodbine). Turns out, the 2 people they could trust were the people you’d least expect in Mr. & Mrs. Shepard (Flea & Chloe Sevigny). They took them in at the most desperate of times and treated Queen & Slim as equals. This film also has a lot of shock value in this film, two examples are the peaceful protest that turned deadly (which, although you saw coming, it still hits hard) and the end on the runway. Seeing that protest play out can only remind you of the black lives matter movement. All people want is justice and to be treated as equals and this film adds a voice to those who think they are voiceless. Once Queen delivers the best line in the movie, the shock of what comes next is gut wrenching. This film has so many relevant theme’s that can be related to life as we know it today, the headlines practically write themselves.
Like I mentioned above, this film is one of the most underrated films of 2019. I was able to catch this film in theaters and I absolutely loved it and wanted to see it the moment I saw the first trailer. Its difficult alone to find a true partner in today’s dating world, but to do it from an app and in such a short period amount of time is truly special. These two opened their souls to each other and became each other’s ride or die while disagreeing half the time. Its just as tragic as Romeo & Juliet (well maybe a little less tragic but, you get the idea). In my top ten lists this was once in my top 10 but other films bumped ahead of it. Kaluuya and Turner both have so much charisma and chemistry together its not hard to root for them or want the best for these lovebirds to get that happy fairytale ending. I wish there was an alternate ending shot where they escape and live happily ever after.
As far as love stories go, Queen & Slim should be considered among the greats. A story so raw and filled with many different emotions can and should be revisited as much as possible. Although this film is not based on a true story, it feels real enough to happen. Yes, there is a stigma attached with conditions as described and played out about social injustice and racial inequality. This film does a superb job of making these characters relatable.
I urge everyone to see this film. There were certain films I saw last year that left a special place in my heart and Queen & Slim is one of them. The performances, the music, the story, the characters ect… all work so effortlessly, it’s a shame there were no nominations handed out. Queen & Slim had a budget of $20 million and had a gross box office of $47 million. Queen & Slim has a Rotten Tomato’s score of 82% and a Metacritic score of 74.
So tell me guys, have you seen Queen & Slim yet? If so, what’d you think about it? Did you love this film like I did? It certainly has become a favorite love story of mine. I’d love to hear from you so please drop a comment or shoot me an email and we can discuss with the rest of the community.
Queen & Slim was written by Lena Waithe and James Frey and directed by first time director Melina Matsoukas. Queen & Slim is rated R and has a run time of 2 hours and 12 minutes. The film was released on November 27, 2019 and can now be bought from online retailers like Vudu or ITunes.
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*I do not own these photos used in this article; all rights reserved to the copyright holder*