Milez Das (Rohit Shivdas)’s review published on Letterboxd:
There are moments in our lives that change us for better or worse. We choose a path we know isn't good but sometimes that isn't good is something we want to live.
Moonlight is told in three chapters in the life of Chiron. Chiron (Little) is running away from some bullies, he gets into an flat and hides there. Chiron is shy and never really speaks. He meets Juan and strikes a friendship with him. Juan tells Chiron to make his own path, to live his own life.
Chiron's mother is an drug addict who lashes on Chiron at times. As we descend to the next chapter we see Chiron now teen in high school. Still the same, shy and not uttering more than two words. He is now bullied by Terrel constantly. We see his mother taking all his money just to take another hit. One night he finds solace in Kevin his only friend.
Now, Adult Chiron after the incident in high school is sent to prison and this makes him choose a path which he wanted to avoid. But still we see him still trying to define himself, what he is, who he is.
As we see these chapters in Chiron's life we see how he has struggled, with himself, his surrounding and his identity. He is someone who wants to leave this life. He is someone who is taking a hit after hit and finally the ticking bomb explodes within him.
Chiron becoming what Juan was is like a turning point. Even when he meets Kevin, he just says it is not you Chiron. I mean we expected more from him. Even he wanted more from himself. He was stuck in a moment, a moment of his life where he knew what he was for that matter of minutes.
He takes the hits from Kevin, we see him backing away from the principal saying to her she doesn't know. Really what does really goes into American High Schools? Many movies and TV series are shown on how students struggle in high school. I don't know how much of its real but stories are made from experiences.
The final act of the movie just builds up to tear you apart. And the final scene where Chiron says to Kevin finally about that moment in his life and till now is just the hitting point of the movie.
Alex Hibbert, Ashton Sanders and Trevante Rhodes play Chiron to perfection. They understood who Chiron is. Mahershala Ali as Juan isn't much on the screen but still he remains in your mind till the end. It's the moments with Juan really structured a path for Chiron. Naomie Harris as Chiron's mother is someone who won't like no matter what she says to him in the end. André Holland as Kevin makes the final chapter feel.
Sometimes you will find the story told, but never told like this. It is crafted with care. It has compassion, it has that anger and it has that pain that suffers. It takes you to a journey.
Barry Jenkins has beautifully directed this feature. He has nurtured Chirons journey. Every frame speaks volume. James Laxton's cinematography is beauty beyond words. And the score by Nicholas Britell hits every note right.
Moonlight is something that says everything in its minimal words. It has colors to every range and chapter. This, you just have to experience.