‘Moonlight’ chronicles the life of one black man over three very different periods played by three different actors.
From the child to the adolescent to the man, ‘Moonlight’s’ story is as electric as its premise and it easily eclipses other previous oscar-worthy films that have documented similar rites of passage. In its wake ‘Moonlight’ leaves taboos in tatters and stereotypes subverted with a surprising lightness of touch that echoes the lead character’s feelings and marks this out as both a brave and remarkable film.
... its meaning is often found only in the hesitant glances and silent spaces that hang between questions.
In the one role of Chiron, Alex Hibbert, Ashton Sanders, Trevante Rhodes all convince and take you inside the skin of this taciturn young man and the fractured relationships he has with his mother (the ever-excellent Noami Harris), his early mentor-figure (Mahershala Ali, effortlessly broadening his suave, on-screen presence) and many others.
Like the its main character, ‘Moonlight’ is not one for many words. The dialogue is lean and sparse and its meaning is often found only in the hesitant glances and silent spaces that hang between questions. In these gaps, the Moonlight’s deft score expertly underpins the drama, never foreshadowing events or crassly announcing its emotional rip-tides, but it leaves you to share Chiron’s feelings as he experiences them – for the first time. Like him, the camera also lingers. It mirrors his measured stares, expertly calculating the risk of being caught or assessing opportunities that might bring succour or violent retribution.
In the end ‘Moonlight’ will leave you beached and breathless. Like its tortured characters you will have navigated the shame and prejudice of the world whilst hanging onto a thin thread of longing that cuts as much as it guides. -See it, experience it. Moonlight will leave its mark on you.