It is so rare that you get to watch a movie that is actually beautiful. Especially when it comes to those proverbial coming of age stories. Moonlight, however is powerful, fulfilling, and moving as it tells the story of a young man not only coming of age, but exploring his sexuality, against the backdrop of the hood where he is persecuted by classmates and even his own mother (Naomie Harris) for being different.
We get to see this young man in three different stages of his life; childhood, adolescence, and finally manhood. In each stage he is known by a different name and perceived a different way. As “Little” in his boyhood he is quiet, sweet, but afraid and unsure of himself until he meets a kindhearted drug dealer, Juan (Mahershala Ali) and his girlfriend, Teresa (Janelle Monae). Then, known mostly by his given name, “Chiron,” he is still persecuted for being perceived as gay.
He eventually finds a kindred spirit and more in his friend, Kevin, but his anger, grief, and rage finally drive him over the edge. Finally well into his manhood, he is “Black” (Trevante Rhodes), an imposing and hard drug dealer in Atlanta who has to confront the demons from his past and embrace a lost love when two phone calls force him to forgiveness and self-acceptance.
This film really hits close to home. If you have ever been persecuted for being different or even found love in the most unusual places you will be able to relate. This is the first time we have seen Trevante Rhodes in a starring role and it was amazing. Straight actors playing gay roles seems to be the new thing and honestly we do not mind. A lot of people criticize gay films, especially Black ones for being too sexual or low quality, but this project deserves four stars! FYI, Brad Pitt executive produced this. You know what I think I will actually pay to go and see it again.
Written By: Michael “Hey Mikey” Fanning