Coco Review

Disney’s latest venture, Coco, explores the fascinating, cultural concepts related to Mexican traditions and family heritages. Its Day of the Dead vibes throughout render this film as an original, charming and innovative approach to the conventional expectations we have come to appreciate in this style of animated film. The visuals glide off the screen with vibrancy and colour, while the lead character is likeable and engaging. While the plot itself was predictable and overly familiar in its structural intentions, the conclusion wrapped the piece up nicely and made for yet another enjoyable, heartwarming tale in Disney’s library.

This film sets out on a journey with aspiring musician Miguel, who searches to find the secrets to his family’s musical heritage and their current resistance to accept it. As the story unfolds, this tale becomes deeper and deeper, and therefore more engaging over time. Its initial premise appears rather quiant, but it soon transforms into a very intresting adventure with a lot of potential. Especially towards the end, this story has a really spectacular way of providing some unexpected twists and subverting the narrative’s typical antagonist. It had its funny moments, its sad ones and its wonderous ones, but it still doesn’t quite manage to capture the depth in plot enough to warrant it as a structurally original story. While its concepts and ideas combined into something incredibly intriguing and potentially special, it never tried to raise the bar or push for a tighter and breathtaking journey. It felt too predictable and familiar to previous films in the Disney atmosphere. This could very much appeal to the target audience, that being younger viewers who may need a clearer direction to follow narratively, but its broader appreciation for the audience as a whole seems to be lacking. Despite that, this film does a fantastic job of presenting a thematically rich, welcoming family tale in a relatively successful manner.

On the topic of themes, Coco excellently conveys its morals and messages in an implicit manner, whilst holding true to its original narrative structure, a far more distinctive and powerful feature that some animations – namely The Emoji Movie and Despicable Me 3 – have completely disregarded or simply not considered. As a result, this film ventures a little further into the integral underlying depth and really tries to accomodate for second viewings, while leaving younger audiences with concepts to learn from and understand in the context of their social lives. It may only be a slight feature within the film’s colourful, stylistically beautiful presentation, but it breathes new life into its creation and overall purpose. There’s some very relatable and important messages, which tell younger audiences to follow their dreams and hold your family close – both points that serve a greater intention for the narrative and for later viewings. In every sense, Coco is thematically brilliant and thoughtful.

Now, as this is Disney’s most current animation thus far it comes as no surpirse that the visuals are nothing short of incredible. Its colourful and lively presence blissfully captures the sense of wonder Miguel may be experiencing. Every environment is a collage of bright colours and textures, from the fluorscent lights on the magnificent buildings to the path of orange leaves. But where the visuals truly work their glorious magic is in the facial expressions and details that few animations have really been able to create as stunningly as this. From the finer details on the skeletal figures or the contours on Miguel’s grandmother’s face, this style of animation pops with vibrancy and depth. While it isn’t quite as impressive as Moana’s animated artstyle, it still has some of the greatest detail and general colour in a Disney title.

Another key element in any Disney animation is the musical score that compliments the visual material. In Coco, the soundtrack isn’t particularly memorable, but it’s got a lot of charm and texture to it that really benefits the tone and atmosphere of the piece well. There are certainly moments where the soundtrack really kicks into gear and presents a very lighthearted and lively atmosphere, which will surely have viewers smiling. However, when comparing it to previous titles, Coco has a soundtrack that doesn’t go much further than simply pleasing its audience. It’s never striving for anything greater than that and therefore only promises such delights when layered alongside the film. Despite that though, the score in this animation still proves to be incredibly welcoming, warming and fun, which further adds to the viewing experience.

In conclusion, Coco is yet another fantastically original, beautifully colourful and incredibly fun animation from Disney, which provides a very lighthearted tale with a cast of great characters. Though its structure isn’t seeking to diversify or change from the expectations and the musical score doesn’t quite provide the same instant power, this is a solid animation that understands exactly what it is trying to execute and coherently delivers. The wonderous adventure Miguel journies through is investing and very promising, while keeping a lot of innovative creations and ideas on the screen to really encapsulate this magnificence. This is another strong addition to Disney’s recent titles and just goes to show that, after all these years, they still have the magic touch in animation.

VERDICT – 7.5/10


True Detective Season 1 Review – Crime Drama at its Best

After approximately four years since the release of the first season of HBO’s critically acclaimed anthology crime drama, True Detective, it has become one of the most beloved and cherished by fans of the genre for its experimentation, precision and expertise in the medium of television. At the surface level, this is a conventional police procedural with a buddy-cop relationship at the heart of the narrative and a homicide investigation influencing their journies into identity and compromise. Beneath the surface, however, this is much more than a mere season of television. It’s a breathtaking cinematic experience through the murky, gritty Louisianan bayous, exploring the internal struggles and difficulties faced by two detectives. Despite its controversial conclusion, True Detective Season One presents screenwriting, acting and directing at its very finest.

Set in the swampy, gritty landscape of Louisiana, True Detective follows the journies of two homicide detectives, both professionally and personally, as they investigate a ritualistic, occult murder over the course of seventeen years. While its structure appears to be similar to other texts in the genre, it is the execution and overall delivery that pushes this beyond what many others have done before. Every piece of dialogue feels purposeful and develops a greater sense of who these two men are, taking a thematic approach of masculine identities and the typology of the flawed protagonist. Nic Pizzolatto’s script boasts confidence and refinery that, while sometimes feeling quite slow-burning, absorbs and consumes the viewer with every minute, particularly in regards to Matthew Mcconnaughey’s character Rustin Cohle. Once the script kicks into gear and places you into the full force of the narrative, you will hope to savour those moments because they are utterly brilliant, compelling scenes. To some the ending to the anthology season might be considered controversial and slightly underwhelming, but it is only until you delve further into the writer’s decision making and vision that you begin to understand the true meaning behind it. This show, from beginning to end, feels like an engaging, beautifully crafted film in an episodic manner, and it can interest you in the simplest of ways. When a drama can be as intriguing and addictive as this without the need for a plentitude of action sequences, you know it’s worth the investment. And that’s exactly what you get here: a grounded, character driven narrative with sharp dialogue and equally effective plots.

Another salient feature to note is the direction and cinematography on offer here, which obtains a particularly gritty and dark aesthetic thoroughout. Since it was shot on 35mm film, this drama projects a gorgeously crisp and detailed appearance, whilst maintaining the stylistic tone of the piece. Cary Joji Fukunaga, director of True Detective’s highly acclaimed first season, uses every technique in his arsenal to produce some of the finest camerawork on television in a long while. His popular tracking shot in episode four is nothing short of magnificent and jaw dropping, but only adds to the variety of beautiful establishing, overhead shots and intentionally significant wide shots. There are times where you simply have to appreciate and acknowledge the technical genius behind this craft, because every single shot or angle has a particular purpose. Fukunaga’s directional role in this project was highly influential in the overall thematic and atmospheric approachs; since he directed all the episodes individually, they all combined as a very visually coherent, consistent drama that many shows have difficulty to sustain. The directing is as powerful and memorable as the script and the acting.

As an anthology series, True Detective has gone on to impact upon the narrative formats of many other series, such as The Night Of and The Missing, but also in its translation between the mediums of film and television. Not many dramas were able attract such largely noted actors, in this case Matthew Mcconaughey and Woody Harrelson, at least not until this point. These two were top-notch, providing performances of the finest quality. Whether it be their facial expressions or heir delivery of dialogue, their prowess in the field was highlighted in every single scene. It didn’t matter what the scenario was, they were truly magnetic and absorbing to the next level. In fact, this is some of their strongest work as both a collaborative pair and as individuals. Their chemistry bleeds onto the screen with plenty of personality and charm, keeping true to the cop duo intentions in an effective manner. Seriously, this drama is worth watching just for the acting alone.

Another particularly incredible feature this series exceeds standards is in its opening title sequence. While this might not interest or appeal to some viewers, the title sequence offers something very unique to its existence: an artistic, coherently crafted montage of double exposure shots that beautifully summarises the central themes in a matter of minutes. Undoubtedly, this is one of the richest, thematically present openings to grace the small screen.

In conclusion, True Detective Season 1 is a cornucopia of rich storytelling, intelligent dialogue, powerful performances and technical mastery across the board. Despite its initially slow pace, every episode builds upon the central preposition that drives the deep characterisation and well structured narrative forward to its eventual conclusion. If you’re seeking a procedural crime drama that is filled with quality material, there really aren’t many that can surpass the brilliance of what this individual season of television achieves in its eight episode journey. It well and truly deserves to be known as one of the greatest seasons of television ever produced.

VERDICT – 9.8/10

True Detective Season 2 Review is Coming Soon

True Detective and Game of Thrones Scheduled for 2019

As HBO’s line-up for 2018 continues to expand and develop, there have been noticeable dramas left behind under Casey Bloy’s influence for the following year, leaving some fans disappointed and questioning the current shows to air this year.

Even after the underappreciated and heavily criticised second season, True Detective has been an interesting topic for those awaiting a third installment, but it looks like they’re going to have to wait even longer for their next season to be released. This may be due to the second season being criticised for feeling rushed, for which the HBO president of programming Michael Lombardo apologised. Mahershala Ali and Stephen Dorff have both been confirmed for the new installment in the anthology series, which will be set in the Ozarks region, which gives fans a little taste of what to expect, but the question of whether it’ll be enough still remains to be answered.

This comes after the recent news that the final season of Game of Thrones, the highly anticipated third season of True Detective and the second entry in the Big Little Lies series are all slated for a 2019 release. This leaves many questions as to what exactly HBO has planned to fill this year, but gives a plentitude of content for the following year. While this evidently will give more time to invest into the quality of production, it will have many people concerned over what to watch in the meantime. 

HBO have confirmed that the second season of the sci-fi, western Westworld will be releasing this year alongside a few other projects, including the beginnings of production for the Watchmen television series and the eagerly awaited Deadwood film. That provides a solid structure for the year, at least to help compensate for the long waiting period. Westworld offers quality and diversity in the medium of television drama, but its audience may be considered niche, meaning that the significance of the programme will have little effect on the mass consumer base. 

There is still no news or updates on another season of The Night Of so it looks unlikely that it’ll appear this year, unless it somehow managed to slip under everyone’s radar.

Under Casey Bloy, HBO has been seeking longer investments of production development and time to improve the overall quality of the material they are providing. Whether that be for better or worse, it means that everyone will be having to wait patiently for their next installments. Don’t worry, though, there’s plenty of other dramas to keep us company in the meantime. 

Nintendo Switch Direct Mini Overview – Mario Tennis, Hyrule Warriors Switch and Dark Souls

The highly anticipated January Direct for Nintendo has finally arrived, this time in the form of a fifteen minute, ‘mini’ presentation. It was completely unexpected, appearing without notification: a clear response to the desperate, crying fans. While the event itself was particularly short, the content was packed to the brim with remasters, ports, a few new titles with release dates and tons of surprises – even if they did raise a handful of questions about Nintendo’s plans in 2018.

One of their biggest announcements came with the release of both Hyrule Warriors and Donkey Kong: Tropical Freeze for Nintendo Switch later in the year, both without an official date. Originating from the Wii U, these ports bolster the Switch’s second year line-up and give a completely new experience to those who didn’t own the previous home console. This is a fantastic offering of content, even if you have played it, because of the portable capabilities the Switch has. It brings a fresh perspective to an older title and allows those who want to play it to purchase it. Those who aren’t interested by the prospect don’t have to purchase it, so this was a great business move – although an announcement of  a new title in development for Donkey Kong would have cemented the feelings towards this reveal.

A large portion of this direct highlighted Nintendo’s sudden push towards DLC content, most likely due to the recent success of Breath of the Wild’s ‘Champion’s Ballad’. Pokken Tournament continues to add more characters, support characters and outfits for trainer customisation, keeping the base game enjoyable and all the more competitive. Aegislash and Blastoise will deepen the strategy of the game and maintain its audience’s activity, giving players a reason to continue playing and improving. After that, Donkey Kong was revealed as a character for Mario and Rabbids: Kingdom Battle DLC, which was surprisingly entertaining to see. It wasn’t a gameplay trailer, but it was appealing nonetheless. Finally, the free content, Mario Odyssey will be receiving a hide and seek style balloon mini game, as well as three new outfits. While it may have value to some and it is a free update coming in February, it doesn’t provide much sustenance for warranting plenty more hours. Sure, the primary game experience provides tens of hours, but this update could have been much, much more. Whether or not Mario Odyssey receives an expansive update, that remains to be seen.

Nintendo did outline a few first party titles that were brand new, including Mario Tennis Aces and the already announced Kirby Star Allies. The latter was dated for a March 16th release, putting it aproximately two weeks after the Switch’s official first year anniversary. Mario Tennis was a sensationally colourful and aesthetically gorgeous game, while also reinforcing a solid single player campaign. It looks everything a good Mario Tennis game should be, so hopefully future directs will show more information on the mechanics and general gameplay ahead of release. Kirby Star Allies looked like a fun experience with lots of potential, bleeding charm and humour onto the screen. Both of these titles look relatively strong releases to further develop the Switch’s still rather mysterious second year. 

Now, Nintendo’s concluding reveal: Dark Souls Remastered. This had been speculated for months, so the reveal itself wasn’t as impressive as it may have initially seem. But, upon further reflection, this is actually an incredibly great achievement. Being able to play Dark Souls on a portable system is a testimont to how far mobile technology has come. To those wanting darker, more challenging games for their library, there aren’t many better than this. The trailer itself was very short and didn’t show any form of gameplay, making for something to look forward to in eager anticipation for the future.

A few smaller announcements were made, including a demo of Dragon Quest Builders, a release date for Payday 2, a NIS America new title and a remastered version of The World Ends With You. All of this points to more content, and therefore a wider range of audiences being catered for. Nintendo are accomodating for every possible audience they could ever need at this moment in time, and these titles solidify that.

While this direct disappointed the hearts of those awaiting a lengthy direct, it answered some very crucial questions while also adding to the enigma and excitement for the coming months to build upon. As we draw closer to the Switch’s first year anniversary, it is becoming more and more apparent that Nintendo is readying themselves. They’re preparing all they can possibly muster, but it will require patience and acknowledgment. This was a ‘mini’ direct, and anyone who thought otherwise was only going to be disheartened. If this is a small presentation, just think what they have in their arsenal come their larger events. This reiterates the fact that Nintendo has a lot of different avenues and approaches they could take, it’s just a case of gradually placing us in the situation and revealing the shocks and surprises on the biggest of stages. Whether you agree with the porting scenario or not, the addition of such quality games – that, granted, didn’t sell particularly well on their previous system – only benefits the Nintendo Switch’s library. You may have wanted to see a new title revealed for a beloved franchise, but you have to appreciate that it takes a lengthy time to create something from the ground works. Be patient, Nintendo knows exactly what they’re doing. This year is already off to an interesting, content heavy start and I’m sure that will continue to progress as the months pass.

Creative Writing – Plotting and Subplotting

In the planning stages of writing, the craft of a single plot is essential for your narrative to progress. It can be a linear journey, from point A to point B, or it can simply be in the form of a non-linear structure. Either way, a narrative’s plot is potentially the most important feature to master, as it is the concrete that binds everything together neatly. All the characters you’ve developed, all those settings you’ve chosen, it all comes down to this moment. Here are tips on how to approach the daunting tasks of plotting a story and adding subplots to maintain a stable, solid structure.

1 – Plan it as much as possible

To start off, this is a fairly self-explanatory point. Plan your plots – especially your primary plot – as this will greatly help focus on the construction you are going for and will improve efficiency significantly. You can use the typical equilibrium structure (equilibrium disrupted, issue identified, equilibrium restored and a new equilibrium then begins), or you can use an entirely different method to grasp your narrative’s plot.  Planning weeks, or months, in advance allows a lot of the tenuous work to be relieved from your mind, making for a much more creative and productive thought process. Whatever you decide to do, don’t go into your story completely ‘blind’. This will, in due time, lead to a convoluted and spontaneous plot that feels weak. Plan before writing, then let those plans become faint blueprints. 

2 – Add subplots where necessary

Sometimes writers feel the need to cram as much content as they possibly can in the hope that their story will be rich with lore and history, but instead are left with meandering plots that divert the readers attention from the focus. Be succinct and only add a subplot where it is absolutely essential for creating a particular effect, i.e. for characterisation purposes. Subplots should be used to layer up and add depth to your main plot, embellishing it with concentrated effect and impact. Before adding a subplot, question its overall validity and essence within the story you’re trying to tell. If it isn’t worth the investment, remove it and move on.

3 – Make a visual diagram

One of the best ways of accessing your plots and subplots and organising them correctly is to make a visual diagram. Write each plot (or subplot) on an individual piece of paper and bullet point each event or sequence that occurs within that particular plot, leaving a few lines between them. Then, begin to add some of the subplot slips in between the main plot segments and see what happens. You’ll notice that after adding a handful of those slips into the main plot, you’ve got more clarity and a greater overall understanding of your story’s constrution. If you wanted to develop this exercise even further, you could attempt to detail and describe each of the scenes so that, the next time you come to write, you have plenty of ideas ready.

4 – Remember cause and effect

A very simple plotting device is the understanding of cause and effect. An action constitutes to a reaction, which then continues until eventually that reaches its end. In a narrative, the story should flow and consistently have significance to what the characters are trying to achieve, whether that be consciously or subconsciously. Remembering to always question what happens next and wondering what the character would reaction like in this situation will add a plethora of depth, authenticity and power to your piece. 

5 – But, don’t forget to embrace change

While the cause and effect structure is perfectly useable and highly recommended, try to be open to changing where you feel it can benefit your material. Don’t let your reader expect something, let them know from the first line that they’re one step behind you. Writers can sometimes overuse the cause and effect device and it could lead to the plot becoming slightly too predictable, making it conventional and uninspired at times. If the writing itself can compensate for that, then no worries, but in most cases it can’t. Embracing some unusual and unfamiliar structures, trying to experiment with how narratives can be told, really adds to the anticipation and excitement of not knowing. You’re the writer, so give us every reason you have to consider reading your work.

Plotting is an especially difficult experience for most writers, so don’t worry if you’re struggling to come to terms with it. Experiment and take some time to manipulate your story to fit how you want. So, who’s ready for more?

The next part of your journey begins: the writing itself.

Creative Writing – Setting

A compelling narrative is known to include the basic foundations of intriguing, engaging characterisation and a thorough plot that holds together well, but just as equally important is the choice of setting. Whether it be a dark, gritty, swampy bayou or a calm, tranquil seaside, the setting is absolutely integral to developing a strong sense of atmosphere and tone. It may only play an implicit role, taking to the background and allowing the characters and plots to paint the scene, but location and setting offers a technical refinery that keeps its consistency to the overall narrative. Here are some tips on approaching setting:

1 – Think carefully, choose precisely

Choosing a setting, at first glance, might seem like an easy task. It’s rather simple to pick something that suits the genre of preference – typically dark, mysterious locations for crime stories, enclosed and haunting settings for horrors, and beautifully quiet settings for romance. But, in some cases, there are exceptions to the rule and that is exactly what we want. Breaking away from conventional expectations and attempting to reinvent the purpose of setting.

Take some time to think about your choice for setting. Why exactly did you choose it? Does it contribute to the message of the piece? Is there a particular theme or foreshadow that the setting provides?

2 – Be consistent and thorough

Once you’ve decided on the setting, try to be as consistent as possible. If you’ve chosen a cityscape filled with an industrial, corrupt aesthetic, don’t then completely override that with a different image. Unless it is used to juxtapose a particular scene – in which case, good idea – and add further character, flitting between settings can lead to confusion and a generally convoluted plot. Be thorough with what you choose and ensure that the location truly works for what you’re aiming to say. 

3 – Give your setting character and individuality

If you’ve tried the previous points this should be a little easier, but regardless the setting should be given its own personal identity and character. It is the place that holds your narrative and the characters inside of it, therefore it’s an especially pivotal factor. In fictional work, distinctive, succinct descriptions offer powerful and memorable opportunities to develop this and give the reader a greater understanding of what they are delving into. The details don’t need to extensive, by any means, but a few fine details make it stand out as a particular player within the narrative. For example, a romance story you could have blossoming blue hues in the sky, colourful fruit trees (painted with tinges of ripened plums or peaches), the calm sound of sea waves splashing on rock. It all adds to character and atmosphere, which ties the whole experience together. 

4 – Use setting to your advantage, not your disadvantage

A setting can do a lot more than you would initially expect: it can foreshadow, it can add depth to a particular interaction, it can add tension and suspense, it can even provide the perfect conclusion – or at least build up to it. Use your setting as a way to levitate the story and give further motion to the content. Remember that a writer should always be one step ahead of their reader, and setting is a perfect way to accomplish that. Put your reader in a location they’re uncomfortable in, or a place they aren’t familiar with and see where it takes your story. You have the power to choose where to take your reader, so use each and every technical tool at your disposal.

5 – Don’t be afraid to change

Sometimes, once edits and rewrites start happening, writers can get a little bemused as to what to do if they’re not satisfied with the setting. This is a common issue, so firstly don’t panic. Have a glance at the setting and ask yourself why it might need changing. Is there an additional aspect of the setting you’d like to add, or is the whole atmosphere not working effectively for the creative expression at work? It might take some time to grasp where the issue lies, but once you’ve found it try to reformulate the setting in a way that doesn’t directly harm the plot and characterisation too heavily. After all, you’ve worked incredibly hard on creating this piece. Don’t be afraid to change the setting if it is required as it greatly benefit your material in the future, even if it warrants a greater investment of time.

Hopefully this guide will help on your journey to establishing a suitable location for your piece of writing. While setting is sometimes considered to be a secondary, more minor topic, it is such a vital part of a story’s core that needs to be acknowledged and accepted. Once you’ve developed your setting, it is time to move onto the next, most daunting topic: plotting and subplotting.

Moonlight Review РAn Emotional Masterclass 

Winner of three Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Moonlight follows the emotional, visceral journey of Chiron at three stages of his life. There are layers of depth, constantly asking challenging questions of the audience, which keeps on adding to the voice and tone of this film. It is as much a representation of masculine identities so much as it is a representation of human identities and the constructs of social norms. Barry Jenkin’s film provides everything you could ever want in an emotional, dramatic, coming of age narrative, breaking convention and being bold in its presentation. Technically this film is very gifted, as well. Boasting a beautifully harmonic score and gorgeous cinematography throughout, not mentioning the authentically raw, powerful acting particularly from Mahershala Ali, Naomi Harris and all three portrayals of Chiron. Whether you’re looking for your next film to make you cry or a film that actually grasps meaning and detail underneath the surface, this film has it all. It truly is an emotional masterclass of storytelling.

At its very core, Moonlight is a sincere and genuine film that constantly finds new ways to invest its audience, typically through its characterisation and plot. Chiron is a character for the ages to remember as we are thrown into his unstable situation, both domestically and mentally. Whether it be his drug abusive, inattentive mother, his bullying classmates or the socio-economic community he is trying to fit into, this film explores a wide range of scenarios and places you – the viewer – at the heart of his internal pain. It’s emotionally compelling and so beautifully executed, taking you on his discoveries and progression through the narrative. If you’re one for connecting cathartically, be prepared for tears as this is hardhitting, natural characterisation at its optimal state.

Each point in Chiron’s life is filled with intricate and important moments that all culminate in his eventual realisations later in the film. Its pacing was constant throughout, never once feeling like it was unnecessary or irrelevant for what it was trying to set in motion. These pinnacle moments all brought a sense of greater stakes and broader perspectives to the story, but at the same time felt important individually for the overall contrast in his life. Most notably, the transition from his teenage years to his adult years, where he becomes a very typical male in his ethnic community, muscular in stature and wearing a set of gold teeth. This distinct portrayal of masculinity, especially in contrast to The earlier depictions of such, adds to the enigma and general force it holds in The narrative structure. Add all of this to phenomenal acting from all three actors and you have something of pure magnificence, providing tears, laughs, smiles and gaping shocks. 

Chiron, however, isn’t the only character to shine in this story. While it primarily focuses its attention on his journey for identity, Jenkin’s vision also accommodates for an array of rich, emotionally investing characters. Naomi Harris’ depiction of Chiron’s detached mother is as harrowing and frightening as it is powerful and gripping. Her performance is astonishingly human, giving justifications for her behaviourisms and eventually making you sympathise with her situation. Mahershala Ali provides another fantastic addition to the cast, for which he won Best Supporting Actor, that is filled with moral layers and dialogue that flows naturally. He’s troubled, ever so slightly broken, but he’s also committed to helping Chiron. His character isn’t featured for too long, but still plays a pivotal role in Chiron’s development. The minor characters are just as detailed, emotionally riveting and thoroughly convincing as the lead protagonist, reinforcing Jenkin’s ability to craft such compelling and visceral storytelling.

The cinematography is beautifully crafted, a gradient of blue and purple hues maintaining a visually stylistic film and one that continues to please viewers aesthetically. It isn’t the strongest contender for visual presence, but particular shots – including the familiar shot of teenage Chiron lifting his head from an ice cold basin at the mirror, showing his bruised face. It all culminates in this heart wrenching depiction of one boy’s journey for self discovery in a society that never appreciates him. In addition, the score is brilliantly calm and relaxing, offering gentle and subtle vibes to the intense sequences. It allows you to absorb the true messages underneath all the surface level themes and acknowledge the significance of what this film is achieving as a piece of artistic expression. 

To conclude, Moonlight is a cinematic experience unlike many others, telling a story of sincerity and authenticity that bleeds confidence and evocative, visceral expression on the screen. It’s characterisation offers opportunities for powerful and truly gut wrenching moments, making you question the society we have known to accept and adhere to. While there are films that have attempted to tackle these themes in the past, Moonlight executes it near flawlessly in all technical areas to produce something of artistic mastery. This is an experience that will have you discussing for days, weeks, perhaps even months on end because of its significance and relevance to the current climate sociologically. Moonlight, in every sense, is a masterpiece in film history.

VERDICT – 9.5/10