Queen & Slim ending explained: Melina Matsoukas' film is no fairytale!

Queen & Slim

Some films just wouldn't work with a happy ending.

Queen & Slim has arrived, so let's get that ending explained.

We can't wait to see what Melina Matsoukas does next!

The director is well known for her music video work and has also helmed episodes for such TV shows as Master of None and Insecure. However, Queen & Slim has established her as an exciting talent in the realm of feature filmmaking. 

Daniel Kaluuya (Get Out, Widows) and Jodie Turner-Smith (Jett, Nightflyers) star as the titular characters, who we begin to get acquainted with on their first date.

However, their night descends into a nightmare when they are pulled over by a cop. Tensions rise and the escalating struggle results in the couple fleeing the scene, soon to be plastered all over the news as wanted criminals. The film chronicles the subsequent manhunt and the impact it has on their lives and others in a variety of ways. 

It's a gripping piece of work, but let's talk about that ending...

Daniel Kaluuya attends the

Queen & Slim ending recap

They're on the run, but it then appears that their prayers are answered when a friend informs them that they can hop on a plane and flee. 

Escape is within reach, but just as they are driven to the plane they are surrounded by cops and gunned down. It's a devastating moment, followed by a tender sequence of their shared funeral. Their real names are revealed to the public, and they are heralded as heroes and icons by many. 

People from all over stand disheartened yet united in their demise. It's a confrontational ending, undoubtedly, but there's no other way it could've ended. 

Queen & Slim ending explained

Their death is foreshadowed a number of times, for example, they are referred to as "the black Bonnie and Clyde", which immediately conjures up imagery of going out violently. 

As highlighted by Refinery29, director Melina Matsoukas and writer Lena Waithe knew this is how it had to be, and expressed so in an interview.

Speaking out, Lena said: "I didn’t want to go easy on the audience. I didn’t want to pull punches. I didn’t want to give us some fairytale because the mothers of the movement didn’t have that.”

Similarly, Melina argued at a TIFF event for the film: “Black people don’t get a choice to decide if we’re going to run to the plane or drive over the edge like Thelma and Louise. We’re going to go out in a hail of bullets.”

There have been a heartbreaking number of cases reported similar to that of the first act of Queen & Slim, but the team imaginatively explore an alternate reality of sorts, in which innocents aren't killed but instead fight back. However, this isn't a fairytale, as the director notes, and the ending had to address this and firmly root it in the real world to make a statement regarding themes of survival in America. 

Melina Matsoukas accepts the award for Best Directorial Debut for Queen & Slim onstage during The National Board of Review Annual Awards Gala at Cipriani 42nd Street on January 08, 2020 in...Melina Matsoukas accepts the award for Best Directorial Debut for Queen & Slim onstage during The National Board of Review Annual Awards Gala at Cipriani 42nd Street on January 08, 2020 in...

Audiences talk Queen & Slim on Twitter

Already, a number of viewers have flocked to Twitter to offer their thoughts and opinions. 

Check out a selection of tweets: 

 

 

 

 

In other news, who is The Stranger star Brandon Fellows?

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