Remember Richard Linklater’s Boyhood? If Linklater’s movie was about the tough situations faced by a boy from childhood to teenage, Moonlight from director Barry Jenkins explores a bit wider in terms of emotional ground and self realization. The disturbing feel this movie manages to create through its semi poetic and largely realistic visualization is so effective that you sort of get affected seeing the loneliness of Chiron.

Chiron is our protagonist and the film shows us the three stages of his life. He is getting picked by his friends in the childhood and in teenage also he is a victim for being the introvert. And after all that, in adulthood he is externally a totally different man but with all the vulnerabilities he had in the earlier stages is hidden inside that masculine body. With an invested screenplay that looks deeply in to the character, Jenkins sort of helps us in seeing the world through Chiron’s eyes.

It isn’t the story’s evolvement that attracts you in this film. It is more like a documentation of a person. But the attention this movie gives to all those sensitive feelings and emotional turmoil of this hunk like character creates empathy for him. Movies dealing with internal conflicts becomes a classic one when you can’t stop thinking about the character. Chiron’s loneliness disturbs and you will only have a half hearted optimism about his future when the movie ends in an open ended climax.

Chiron’s character is played by three actors; Alex Hibbort, Ashton Sanders and Trevante Rhodes. Hibbort and Sanders had to play that insecure, sensitive portion of Chiron and they did really well especially Sanders. Rhodes’ version of Chiron is physically and mentally much evolved but still we can sense the same tenderness. Naomi Harris as the drug addicted mother who slowly transforms to be that motherly figure delivers a superb performance. Maharshala Ali creates a huge impact in his minimal screen time in the movie and that Oscar Nomination itself is an appreciation for that.

Moonlight is Barry Jenkins’ second film after his debut in 2008. Like I said, more than a formatted story, the narrative helps the movie in being intense. Without being much philosophical or symbolic, Jenkins introduces us to the terrifying loneliness the character undergoes. The sexuality of the character has a key role in making the emotional combat of Chiron even more hard and complex and with glances and frames that depicts that feeling, cinematographer James Laxton and Barry Jenkins did justice to the story of Chiron.

Moonlight shows how great films can be made using the emotional layers of an individual’s mind. Loneliness in almost all aspects of life is the toughest battle and Moonlight sheds its light on that.

Rating: 4/5

Final Thoughts

Moonlight shows how great films can be made using the emotional layers of an individual’s mind.


Green: Recommended Content

Orange: The In-Between Ones

Red: Not Recommended


By Aswin Bharadwaj

Founder and editor of Lensmen Reviews.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *