Malcolm & Marie Updates: Malcolm & Marie concludes with a hollow, inconclusive note, bringing the torrid events of the night to an unsatisfactory close. This is the end, clarified.
Writer-director Sam Levinson decides to bring an end to Malcolm & Marie on an emotionally unsatisfied note, leaving the story of his title characters open-ended and unavoidable at once.
Fresh out of the neon-tinted success of the HBO teen drama series, Euphoria, Levinson shot Malcolm & Marie in the middle of the pandemic, in an effort to construct a seductive portrait of two individuals in the locus of a turbulent conflict swept apart by personal trauma and responses to creative critique.
The conclusion of Malcolm & Marie can be called to be, to say the least, subduing since no character gets the denouement they deserve. The final shot of the pair standing silently side by side, with their backs on the camera, does not provide a straightforward end to the plot arc of the film. Here’s the end of Malcolm & Marie, explained.
Is Malcolm & Marie based on a real story?
Although Malcolm & Marie is not solely based on a true story, Levinson told Deadline that part of the storyline was inspired by a real-life event in which he neglected to thank his wife for the premiere.
However, this is not the only way in which art imitates life. Most of Malcolm’s character seems to be based on Levinson’s interpretation of film criticism and art itself, especially Malcolm’s explosive tirade toward “The White Lady of L.A.Times,” which is merely a dramatic expression of Levinson’s own feelings regarding the harsh critical evaluation of his 2018 comedy-thriller, Assassination nation, by the L.A. Times. To state that Malcolm & Marie as a whole is a tiresome, self-serving director’s mouthpiece may also be unjust, as many scenes in the film exude merit-but in fact, the sloppy origins of the film bring a layer of exasperated pretentiousness and inauthenticity to the central plot as a whole, just as Malcolm is painted as a man whose narcissism blinds him to his own shortcomings.
What Malcolm’s film is based on and how it works as a film catalytic
Malcolm’s hopes of becoming a prosperous filmmaker fled when he encountered a 20-year-old Marie who was dealing with extreme depression and suicidal tendencies at the time.
Although Malcolm helped Marie during her hardest times and helped her to get clean, he uses this horrific subject time and time again as a tool against her to make a point.
The reason Marie’s rage is justified is rooted in the basic fact that Malcolm’s film is focused on Marie’s experience with drug abuse, which he had wanted to transform into an authentic film after she had decided to share her remorse, embarrassment, and insecurity with him.
This discovery positions Marie not only as Malcolm’s wife but also as his inspiration, a fact that she points out when she states that the plot of Malcolm’s titular character, Imani, would never have been developed without her presence in Malcolm’s life.
Holding these considerations in mind, Malcolm’s abject ignorance of Marie’s significance in filmmaking and her friendship is manifested in the act of not thanking the woman who played a crucial role in her creative and personal growth.
This is further compounded by the fact that Malcolm’s narcissism prohibits him from empathizing with Marie’s suffering as he continues to treat her with contempt, ridicule, and constant disdain.
This is particularly heightened when the viewer sees an innately broken, helpless Marie half-submerged in the water, and Malcolm sets her dominance over her in an emotionally grotesque manner:
“You wanna hurt me, Marie? I promise you; I can hurt you ten times worse. You’re a f*cking featherweight, a level-one boss. I can snap you like a twig.”
What are the broader consequences of Malcolm & Marie’s turbulent relationship?
When a couple of alternate between hurling hurtful insults at each other and sticking to each other in a heartfelt embrace of Malcolm & Marie, it is painfully clear that the roots of their friends have been brutally excavated and broken.
Marie’s silent, consistent presence in Malcolm’s life left him oblivious and immune to her importance as a wife and a human being. He can’t understand that Marie is the only one who loves him enough to endure his irrational outbursts, be they personal or work-related.
This is exemplified by the long series in which Malcolm, after getting a favorable review from the critic at L.A. Times launches a tempestuous rant about the failure of audiences to fully grasp the artistic outlook of the director.
While Marie listens softly to him, an amused smile adorning her profile, she finds his views ironic, when many commercial and wealthy artists like Malcolm desires the same things-attention, validation, and fame.
Is Malcolm & Marie living together in the end?
At the end of Malcolm & Marie is a distraught Malcolm, unable to locate Marie in the house, frantically crying for her. This may potentially have been an emotionally rewarding conclusion, as it would illustrate the price that Malcolm would have had to pay for his hamartia-the fact that Marie was leaving him.
Instead, the camera pans to Marie standing silently outside the door, who is quickly joined by Malcolm, who is standing next to her. This means that the two have made amendments, at least on a temporary basis, to mark the beginning of a vicious cycle of conflict and physical violence that is likely to be repeated over and over.
Though the end of Malcolm & Marie doesn’t overtly imply that they split up, it’s likely that one day, one of them will break apart from the other or bitterly drift apart. This prospect brings an eerie tinge to the end, leaving a host of unanswered questions in the breeze.