A conversation starter of a film that touches on the subjects of race, gender, drug use, and sexuality, the Golden Globe-winning Moonlight is a universally relatable drama that highlights the destruction one can inflict on themselves when they hide their true identity.
Split into three sections detailing the main character, Chiron, and his personal struggle in coming to terms with his homosexuality, Moonlight never ceases to hold its viewers unwavering attention.
As Barry Jenkins’ devastating film charters Chiron’s troubled childhood in 1990’s Miami to his more questioning adolescence through to his eventual manhood as a drug dealer in Atlanta, our expectations are constantly subverted as the film refuses to pander to a stereotypical mentality.
The three actors who portray Chiron in each highlighted section of his journey – Alex Hibbert, Ashton Sanders and Trevante Rhodes – are uniformly brilliant, each maintaining the character’s timidness and vulnerability whilst placing their own unique stamp on his personality.
Elsewhere, Naomie Harris brings grit to her role as his junkie mother, Mahershala Ali adopts tenderness as a drug dealer who becomes an unlikely parental figure to young Chiron (one heartbreaking scene sees him explain that it’s OK to be gay) and singer Janelle Monae produces a quiet beauty as Chiron’s unofficial guardian.
Overall, there isn’t one beat missed in this flawless film. Without doubt the LGBTI community will relate to it, but such is the genius of ‘Moonlight’ that it doesn’t discriminate against any one person. Here’s a film that promotes acceptance and tolerance but has no shame in breaking your heart in the process.
Moonlight is in Australian cinemas on January 26. Watch the trailer below:
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