Bonnie and Clyde are usually the go-to couple when you think of a love story shrouded in crime. While Queen and Slim are a black couple on the run from the police, writer Lena Waithe wants you to know their story is nothing like that of the infamous 1960s bandits.
"To say [Queen and Slim] is like the black Bonnie and Clyde is very simplistic," Waithe told AMC. "The truth is Queen and Slim are civilians trying to get home, and when they’re pulled over by a police officer, they refuse to die … and become property of the state."
Slim, played by GET OUT’s Daniel Kaluuya, and Queen, played by newcomer Jodie Turner-Smith, don’t even know each other in the beginning of the film. In fact, it’s their first date since matching on Tinder. Their relationship (and the movie) quickly escalates once a routine traffic stop turns deadly. Slim shoots and kills a police officer in self-defense — all within the first 10 minutes.
Queen and Slim, now on the run, inadvertently become symbols of trauma, terror, grief, pain and even triumph to different people across the nation. Waithe says the film is a "meditation on blackness" in America, but it’s also written to hone in on a subject everyone can relate to, and that’s "what it means to matter."
"What you realize through the course of the film is actually how alike we are," she said of her first feature film screenplay. "So, for me, it was how can I get these two people who placed judgment on each other to quickly learn … how human the other person is. That’s also what I want for us too as a people, to ultimately look at each other and see ourselves in each other."
And as Queen and Slim navigate sketchy neighborhoods and even sketchier people, they come to realize how much they mean to communities of color, before ultimately realizing what they mean to each other. QUEEN & SLIM is as much a thriller as it is a love story developing in the midst of chaos. While the movie is full of moments that’ll stop your heart, it also takes a few beautiful moments to warm it.
Don’t miss the end of this heart-racing drama. Get your tickets to QUEEN & SLIM, now playing at AMC theatres.