Saturday, August 19, 2017

LGBT Film Review: Naz & Maalik (2015)

Synopsis (from IMDB):

Two closeted Muslim teens hawk goods across Brooklyn and struggle to come clean about their sexuality, as their secretive behavior leads them unknowingly into the cross-hairs of the War on Terror.

My Review:

Oftentimes, I wasn't sure what this movie was about more: two FBI agents trying to find out if Naz and Maalik are terrorists, or if it was about everyone from those agents, friends, and family members wanting to know for sure if the two are gay and are in a relationship. This movie struggles to find that balance and focus, and ultimately, doesn't quite 100% succeed at either plot-points, but somehow, it doesn't matter: Naz and Maalik have such a tender, sensual, and desperate bond for each other. Even when they struggle to find acceptance in their sexuality and where their religion ultimately keeps the two apart, it's when they're the most intimate and close that they test one another's love and devotion, and it's captured so beautifully. The stakes aren't as high as they should be, but I was still engrossed in these characters and in the movie with its gorgeous cinematography that took place in Brooklyn at Bed-Stuy, Fort Greene, Clinton Hill, and Crown Heights. What the movie might lack in plot, it's well made up for in the acting and the overall gritty energy. I didn't quite love it as much as I wanted to, but I so admire Naz & Maalik, such a brilliant effort, and seriously, the two lead characters/actors are exquisite.

* Currently on Netflix *


No comments:

Post a Comment