Moonlight – 4/5 – Movie Reviews by Ry!

Moonlight – 4/5 – The meaning of things sometimes comes from the simplest detail.  This is the kind of feeling I get when watching films that dabble in the simple texture of characterization, bringing about emotions and situations that endear within the most realistic notion.  Moonlight (Best Picture Winner), is a film that tackles the likes of something true, but in an indifferent way.  Following the life of one man and his struggles with identity, you become witness to something serene in its detail.  Even in some of the basic narrative structure that may hinder at points, Moonlight is a film worthy of its awards and a one of the best character film to date.

Premise: The chronicles of a young man growing up in a rough neighborhood in Miami.  Through childhood, adolescence and adulthood; he must find who he is and what it means to be true.

This is a character piece that takes place over three different periods.  As such, the main character changes between actors, as well as the ever-revolving supporting cast.  I would recommend referring to the film’s IMDb page for the list of actors/actresses.  In short, the full cast does an amazing job in providing profound detail to very ominous characters.  There isn’t a lot of buildup or backstory for anyone in the film.  You are thrust into the life of Little/Chiron as he struggles to grow up in a rough part of Miami.  Through these segments, you see characters surround him through passion, wisdom, life and angst.  That burgeoning of emotions provides raw detail in the vigorous definition of finding yourself.  An identity crisis becomes the formal connective tissue for every character.  Through the exposition, interactions and some tough scenarios, you are witness to personal notes of humanistic reflections.  It is in your face in the subtlest ways possible; creating a well-rounded approach from the methodical direction.  What this does is pull out what the real meaning of the characters are.  No matter if you’re talking about Little/Chiron, his mother, his friend Kevin or the pseudo father figure Juan; you see a delicate touch to the common detail.  A great ensemble cast that does a lot with what is given, they give the film its worth through it all.

The direction is built on the ideal of characterization through the aspect of life’s journey.  Combining these two provides a unique direction that creates the three segments of Little/Chiron’s life.  You have his early childhood, teenage years and then adult life.  In each segment, you see the rawness in its linear direction.  There is never a divergence from the focus of questioning the themes of friendship, parenthood, identity and purpose.  A very common mixture of themes; what makes the film stand above is how layered the flaws become within the ironic detail of conviction.  In each part of his life, Little/Chiron is witness to a lot of painful situations.  No matter if its confused on who he is, what is love or finding his purpose in growing up, you see it intensely stricken with his interactions with whoever is involved in his life (at that time).  The small dialogue is poignant because it provides ominous exposition without being completely divulged of meaning.  It is soothing in its convenient plot points, but it is worth noting that the heavy-handed trends do provide some predictable outcomes.  Even for some of these obvious trends, watching the growth of one character within an original setting helps break that mold of commonality (for the most part).  For all the worth that you expect; it comes slowly through the building of the three segments.  Once you get to the final one, the themes all make its proof of evidence real for the audience.  Once this happens, it’s a completing effect that draws conclusion in a reflective state.  For all the pain that Little/Chiron has gone through, he finds purpose in one thing that he realizes is true.  A simple definition of finding yourself, it becomes a well-rounded climax that provides a window into what makes us, us.  That deeply moving moment helps provide a lot more without any conflicting thoughts, showing that simple storytelling can be the most heartfelt.

The visuals are mimicking of the direction.  It stays simple in its detail of reflecting the livelihood of the characters in Miami.  Never diverging from this aspect, it helps provide a defining aura of why the characters struggle in who they are and what they will become.   Dictated by the background, it helps provide layered meaning to what happens to everyone in the film.  The score is mute at best.  It does not have a real effect on the story or characters.

Moonlight is a film that provides simple storytelling at its finest.  A deep character film in the most original way, you will not be disappointed with what you will experience.  If you’re a fan of character dynamic or good storytelling, this is one for you.  It is worth watching, and worthy of the Best Picture award.

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