Hi Kublai Khan... thanks for your response. I respect your thoughts on my critique of the film, but I do think I had a grasp (at least in a general sense) of the intent of the director prior to viewing. Although complex in nature the story is actually rather simple (which isn't to say that I think the film is simplistic because I don't). I was expecting a coming-of-age type drama involving the character as you describe in a rather hostile world vs. the identity issues. It's the type of plot that I can usually connect with since those are issues that many people go through in one way or another while growing up and learning to navigate the world. Maybe there is a deeper component that I missed.Kublai Khan wrote: ↑May 31st, 2019, 3:24 amWhat a coincidence. I just watched Moonlight for the first time just the other day as well.
I think you're trying to jam the pieces together to see a different story than what the director intended. The story is about Chiron dealing with his homosexual identity in an environment and culture that is hyper toxic to it.
SpoilerShowMahershala Ali's character was the father figure to Chiron and taught him the ways of the street's culture. That he has to hide his vulnerabilities and never expose himself to danger (even down to whee to sit at a table). After Juan died, when Chiron was in high school, he did try to to experience a little vulnerability an closeness with his friend, only to have to backfire. So Chiron truly closes off and embraces all the lessons Juan taught him and he basically is living Juan's life instead of his own. He tells his friend that he's not been together with anyone else.
The first part is Chiron learning from Juan that he has to suppress all vulnerabilities to survive.
The second part is Chiron having that lesson reinforced by him immediately being hurt (physically and emotionally) after a vulnerable moment.
The third part is a little ambiguous, I'll grant you that. I think Chiron is jarred into figuring out that just surviving isn't enough. He has no real deep connection with anyone and even his mom's tearful apologies don't really move him.
The first act had me intrigued, the second piece is where is started to falter slightly for the reasons I mentioned above (mainly the removal of one of the main characters with barely any acknowledgement) and I found it to be really predictable. That in and of itself is not a failure, but even with the predictions I was able to make accurately* nothing that happened resonated with me in any way. Best I can do is describe the film as a hollow shell of what really may have happened. By the third act I was really hoping for some adhesion to bring the entire film (all three sequences) together as a cohesive unit and it failed big time for me in that regard. I got nothing out of the final act... except that about 5 times I thought to myself, is this really the same character from the first two? That can't be him... he's way too much of a stereotype compared to the younger Chiron. Maybe that was the point that I missed. Maybe he was supposed to have evolved into a stereotype, but for me that has a strong cheapening effect for the entire piece. I can't imagine that was the intent, but maybe it was.
If this film hadn't won or been nom'd for so many awards, then I probably wouldn't be picking it apart to this extent. I'm trying to understand what about it made it loved by so many...maybe that's the real question I have.
Agree completely. And though I didn't touch on the adult Chiron being a stock character of sorts that's exactly how it came across to me... hence part of my disappointment and the reason why the third act is so weak imho. It was difficult for me to fathom that that character was even the same character from the previous two sequences. I think that's partly where my non-interlocking puzzle piece analogy came from.