Moonlight : Based on the play ‘In Moonlight Black Boys Look Blue’ penned by Tarell Alvin McCraney, first-time Director Barry Jenkins molds the text into a genuine coming of age film. The story centers predominately on the challenges faced by its protagonist Chiron through three stages of his life; childhood, adolescence, and adulthood. Telling the tale of a boy who is gay and black growing up in a world that offers very little to certain people.
A splash of color, The film touches on complex themes such as drug abuse, bullying, sexuality and what it is to be poor without showing the audience too much. Rather than feeling overwhelmed, audiences are invited to the precipice of these often dark themes but never given a closer look. The film does this with its use of fluorescent colors which are featured in the homes of characters to create an unsettling feel. What Moonlight offers instead is an empathetic yet restricted look into one person's life, encouraging us to looks beyond the obvious to the mundane.
Silence is golden, The film says more with its carefully crafted silences than with its script. In moments of heightened emotion, the pace of the film slows down and sits in stillness with the characters invitingly. We learn more of these characters by what they choose to omit. Alternatively, the camera is often used to engage audiences as it is most often in some form of static movement, creating distress, drama, and intrigue.
Man up? The film dispels any stereotypical portrayal of black men as the protagonist’s harrowing life story is used to exemplify the easy descent into a life of crime. Ultimately Moonlight examines what it is to be male in today's age as Chiron takes on a more ‘masculine’ persona as a means of protection against a world that demands he be tougher. Despite this, Chiron remains light of heart and finds himself through his moments of forgiveness.