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…
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.
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:
Idk what kind of ending I expected from Queen & Slim but 10/10 film— tnay♀️ (@TannayaImani) February 3, 2020
Queen & Slim aesthetics were great, acting fantastic and for the most part the plot, for reasons beyond me i wasnt expecting the ending so i was like in tears and the writing i liked but some of it really had my heart in a vice grip.— Rae (@Southofhome) February 2, 2020
11. Queen & Slim.— Michelle Pryde (@michellepryde) January 31, 2020
Powerful storytelling. Such an important message. Daniel Kaluuya and Jodie Turner-Smith both amazing. The ending though! 9/10 ⭐️ pic.twitter.com/5zw3LDuHnm
The ending of Queen & Slim— (@cookiexcrumble) February 1, 2020
In other news, who is The Stranger star Brandon Fellows?