Moonlight (2016)

moonlight“Ok. Let your head rest in my hand. Relax. I got you. I promise. I won’t let you go. Hey man. I got you. There you go. Ten Seconds. Right there. You in the middle of the world. ” – Juan

Number of Times Seen – 1 (16 Jan 2017)

Brief Synopsis – Three chapters in the life of a young man who questions his feelings and understanding of the world as he tries to find his place in the world.

My Take on it – This is a film that I’ve been looking forward to seeing for quite some time mainly due to all the hype and hoopla that it has roused up over the last few months including winning the Golden Globe for Best Picture-Drama.

Unfortunately, I was not as impressed with the story as most people have been.

I think the fact that this film tries to tell a more complete story by telling three significant chapters in the main characters life, but that takes away from the impact because each subsequent story is less powerful than the previous one.

The first segment is actually the best of the three and Mahershala Ali is superb as the kid’s mentor.

The chemistry that he has with the young actor playing the kid is amazing and you really can believe their dynamic together.

I think that this film would have been even better had it just stayed focused on the first segment the whole time.

I understood the overall story and its message, but the way it was put together comes off too choppy and incomplete.

Bottom Line – Not as amazing as most people claim.  The three stories help to give us a better view of his evolving and cyclical life, but the effectiveness of each stories wanes as we watch it all unfold.  The first segment is the best and most powerful and I wish they would have just stayed with that story for the whole film.  Ali is great and things might have been even more enjoyable had the film focused more on him.

MovieRob’s Favorite Trivia – When Juan teaches Little how to swim, Mahershala Ali is really teaching Alex R. Hibbert how to swim. When production started, Hibbert did not know how to swim. (From IMDB)

Rating – BAFTA Worthy


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9 thoughts on “Moonlight (2016)

  1. Good review, with some good points. I rather liked Moonlight. While it’s in my Top 10 for the year, it’s not in the Top 5. However, I really enjoyed the story. You’re right, it’s not focused on plot, but I like the focus on characters and themes.

    The structure really helps the story too, since we kind of play catch-up in between. Also, the ending is open enough to invite conversation and make you wonder what it all meant.

    I like character studies like this, but totally understand the audience that wants a traditional 3-act story (usually about overcoming some obstacles to succeed at a quest of some sort). That said, perhaps Moonlight just spun that in a different way?

    Also, I think when filmmakers DON’T make stories to please everyone (or appeal to all demographics) AND those movies get acclaim, a larger audience who doesn’t normally watch this kind of stuff gets exposed to it. I know that’s how I accidentally stumbled into being such a movie nerd 😉

    Once again, talking about why we love or hate a film is what makes the art-form so exciting to discuss. Thanks for sticking to your guns, Rob, and sharing your disappointing experience with Moonlight (or any other well-regarded film for that matter).

    Oh and the idea that you want to spend the whole movie with the character at the age we meet him at (a child), is testimony to the power of the story. You want to know more (and so did I, big time). I think that was the plan, to get us invested in our ‘hero’ to only have him pulled away (which is a ‘theme’ reflected in each ‘act’). I love that we get to fill in some of the blanks.

    Okay digression over 😉


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