Image: Universal Pictures

“While on a forgettable first date together in Ohio, a black man and a black woman are pulled over for a minor traffic infraction.” (Rotten Tomatoes)

Some months back I was given the opportunity to watch this film at a private screening. Despite not hearing much of the film at the time, all it took for me was that one sentence and a quick watch of the trailer I was sold.

Dubbed as the black Bonnie & Clyde, Queen & Slim take us on an unexpected, emotionally-charged journey that takes place both on the road but in our hearts. We, the audience are faced with an internal, provocative debate of whether the pair were justified for killing a white cop in self-defence and running away from the implications that will come as a result. In the process, they become a social media phenomenon and beacon of hope by communities, as tensions further increase whilst the rest of the country take heed of what has happened.

There’s something about Queen & Slim that makes it simple at best, yet so dynamically powerful. Be it the perfect pairing of Get Out’s Daniel Kaluuya and breakout star Jodie Turner-Smith who are incredible together. Or the fearless runaway narrative that sees a first date gone wrong and escalate into something much more important and conscious than they imagined. Or maybe it’s the unapologetic portrayal of black love, struggle and pain, that would not have been delivered so poignantly if it wasn’t written or directed by Lena Waithe (Master of None) and Melina Matsoukas (Beyoncé’s Formation) respectively.

Image: Sourced from Twitter 

In their first collaboration together, Waithe and Matsoukas are successfully fusing a thoughtful script and beautiful cinematic moments which cement Queen & Slim as more than just a romantic drama, but a film of reckoning that effortlessly mirrors today’s society and the black experience. In a world where incidences of institutional racism and police brutality against people of colour feel more common and rife than ever in the age of virality and social media, it seemed only fitting that a film like this came out today. 

The film has received rave reviews from both critics and the public alike, with fans taking to Twitter to praise the film for its greatness. 

Despite having another two weeks to wait until the film is officially released in the UK, it’s worth making a note of the date free and giving it a watch. 

Queen & Slim will be available in cinemas nationwide from 31st January 2020. 

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