Moonlight – an abstract tale of masculinity

Feb 18 2017 BY Precious Ene

Moonlight, a fictitious biopic based on the play, In Moonlight Black Boys Look Blue, follows the life of Chiron and his evolving world. Jenkins, similar to his other popular work, uses this film to challenge gender and racial stereotypes.

The film is told in three parts and I feel that Jenkins adopted many realistic themes from the play, resulting in the raw emotion we experience throughout the film. On the other hand, the movie has been directed in an abstract format and this helped to build depth in the character development. 


The score of the film added a great sense of tension throughout and aided our emotional journey within Chiron’s unfair world. The actors’ performances were solid and there was little room for error. The choice of a fairly unknown cast allowed viewers to truly connect to the story without prior and unconscious bias. 

Many of the scenes were too long and the film could have been condensed more with better editing. There were points in the film where I felt my attention drifting due to the lack of progression of the story. 

Overall I felt the director did a good job, for his level of experience. There was room for improvement, but this for me was overcome by the powerful message and strong acting. 

Rating: 3.5/5

Director: Barry Jenkins 

Starring: Mahershala Ali, Duan Sanderson, Janelle Monae, Naomie Harris and Trevante Rhodes