Prior to Queen and Slim being released to the public, it was described as the modern day Bonnie and Clyde story. If you don’t know who Bonnie and Clyde are, they are an infamous couple that is known for their bank robberies across the United States in the early 1930’s who died in their early 20’s. The story of Queen and Slim is slightly similar to Bonnie and Clyde’s, but overall, their storylines are quite different, but I will explain more of that towards the end of this review.
In the movie trailer, you notice that Queen (played by Jodie Turner-Smith) and Slim (played by Daniel Kaluuya) are on their first date, due to their connection on Tinder, in a diner late at night. Queen seems to be an introvert who spends most of her time alone, while Slim is someone who is more outgoing and charming. As the trailer continues, we are shown that after their first date, they get pulled over by a police officer who asks Slim to get out the car. After a couple seconds of yelling, Slim is seen shooting a gun and then immediately driving away. After seeing the trailer, you can easily assume that the movie is going to be about a newly formed couple who is on the run from the police.
When I walked into the movie theater, I was expecting to see a movie where the black couple beats all odds, falls in love, and gains a community of followers throughout their journey of hiding from the police… some of my expectations were met, but I left the movie theater with tears in my eyes and my jaw dropped to the floor. Queen and Slim isn’t full of romance, mainly because the characters don’t really get along until the second half of the movie. For most of the movie, Queen appears to be annoyed with Slim and does not agree with all of the decisions that he makes when it comes to their safety (and vice versa), but there is a turning point where they are actually vulnerable with each other. Several hours after killing the cop (in self defense), Queen and Slim end up in Louisiana, where Queen’s Uncle Earl lives. Uncle Earl is an interesting character whose Pimp career helps them make it farther than they could have expected. He reluctantly lets them into his home, provides them with a meal, and gives them a safe place to rest their heads. Hours later, Queen and Slim are back on the road hoping that the cops won’t notice their new hairstyles, clothes, and new car. Now on their way to Florida, the couple starts to open up to each other and share several romantic and intimate moments (yes, this includes a full blown car sex scene). Seeing Queen and Slim open themselves up to each other was very relieving to watch, because they finally accepted each other for who they were and started to live for the moment!
Without providing too many spoilers, the ending of Queen and Slim is heartbreaking, frustrating, and has an unexpected ending. Similar to Bonnie and Clyde, Queen and Slim spent a lot of their time running away from the police and ended in a way that breaks your heart. Lena Waithe and Melina Matsoukas did a great job of balancing danger, mystique, a hint of romance, and even comedy throughout the entire film. If you haven’t seen Queen and Slim, find a way to see it! It will open your eyes, make you more aware of your surroundings, and remind you of the fact that BLACK LIVES MATTER.