The Tinder Date From Hell (Film Thoughts: Queen & Slim)

8110uYY5NiL._AC_SY741_It all starts on a Tinder date.  Jodie Turner Smith (Queen) and Daniel Kaluuya (Slim) are at a diner, and you can tell that the date isn’t going well – he is trying but Queen has a little bit of an attitude, and you can tell she didn’t want to be there (I had a bad day, she says, and that is always a precursor to a bad date)  Things happen and at the end of the night the two of them are on their way to New Orleans, after having killed a police officer.

That’s a pretty brazen opening plot for a film, even if it really seems like a retread variation of Bonnie and Clyde and Thelma and Louise. The film, directed by Melina Matsoukas and written by Lena Waithe stalls after that – there isn’t much more to the story besides that set-up. I realize that the film tries to be something different. It’s part political statement, romance, road movie. It tries to be a lot of things at once, and it becomes quickly unfocused.  Turner-Smith and especially Kaluuya are charming actors, so we go along and sympathize with them, but they could only do so much. I felt that the characters were empty, and the actors were in the dark trying desperately to fill in blanks. Ultimately, the film felt pretty bleak, as you sense doom and gloom for both Queen and Slim. Plus, I felt the film was overlong – did this picture need to be more than two hours? The ultimate lesson I learned from this film – stay away from Tinder!

 

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