Milez Das’s review published on Letterboxd:
In its beauty of storytelling through three chapter of a boy going through a journey of his realization as he faces every obstacle he can. He runs from three boys with sticks at the start hiding in a apartment where he meets Juan who becomes someone who guides him like his father. As he reaches his teenage life, living with his drug fueled mother asking him for money, he fights off the bullying he faces and a moment on the beach that makes him realize something about himself.
As I finished watching Moonlight, I read its screenplay which is another beauty in itself. It is written with so much care and every word written touches you. The scene with Juan and Little tear you while reading it as you the images flashes written in front of you. The swimming scene to Juan telling Little on how to lead his life and he has got to make his own decisions. The conversation at the dinner table at Juan's house,
Little: [innocently] What's a faggot?
Juan: A faggot is... a word used to make gay people feel bad.
Little: Am I a faggot?
Juan: No. You're not a faggot. You can be gay, but you don't have to let nobody call you a faggot.
Directed by Barry Jenkins, Moonlight becomes something more and more everytime you think about it. It is a masterpiece from within and outside. It is a movie that can relate to you, connect with you from its first frame. I love how Barry transitions from one chapter to another with a flicker of light. He handles his characters with care, defining how they are evolving.
The final chapter brings the familiarity to Chiron's life as it reflects his past. The scene with his mother as he sheds tears or the scene with Kevin in the restaurant, it makes you feel so much emotionally.
Score by Nicholas Britell is pure poetry in its own. It matches the tone and reality of the characters. James Laxton frames every moment like a painting dipped in colors of blue, red, violet, purple...
Here is one of the scene from the screenplay,
EXT. OCEAN - NIGHT
Those waves heard crashing moments earlier on full display,
rushing ashore at a frothy run.
Dark out, extremely dark save for the lights of beach bars a
ways down the ocean front. The undulating rhythms of the
Atlantic catch the moon, glint it all over.
As we observe this movement of water and dance of light,shoulders appear, bare, gaunt: LITTLE from our opening episode.
Calmly, methodically, Little moves across the sand,
approaching the water. A beat more of Little easing up to the
surf, then he looks back: his dark skin moistened in the ocean spray,
moon catching him same as its catching the surface of the Atlantic.
And those eyes: looking right at us, staring plaintively, plainly, nothing requested, no expectation: just a clear, undisturbed openness.
Hold this gaze, then...
...Little turning from us, his form and movement slowly, steadily melding into the flow of light and waves as we headsout into the ocean and we...
FADE TO BLACK.
Moonlight is story of Chiron (Little) played by three brilliant actors Alex R. Hibbert, Ashton Sanders and Trevante Rhodes. They bring his journey to life in front of us. Mahershala Ali as Juan gives one of the best performances. He has a control over his character. Moonlight is a movie that deserved everything it has achieved since its inception. It is one of the best films of 21st Century.