A young boy’s awkward bringing-up thanks to his drug-abused mother and his own timid nature gets more convoluted as he grows – The more he gets exposed to social surroundings, the more emotional baggage he is forced to carry. A blow and a betrayal takes him to a tipping point that leads to a transformation. Years later, his transformed-self expresses that the deepest of layers are hard to be changed.
Running Time:
111 min
Release date:
02 September 2016
Directed by:
Barry Jenkins
Produced by:
Adele Romanski
Dede Gardner
Jeremy Kleiner
Written by:
Barry Jenkins
Story by Tarell Alvin Mccraney
Andre Holland
Ashton Sanders
Mahershala Ali
Naomie Harris
Trevante Rhodes
Music by:
Nicholas Britell
Shot by:
James Laxton
Editing by:
Joi McMillon
Nat Sanders
Distributed by:
Altitude Film Distribution
Roadshow Films

What’s Hot

  • The inspiration from Alvin McCraney’s play ‘In Moonlight Black Boys Look Blue’ on Barry Jenkin’s treatment of the subject would probably pale in comparison to the inspiration he seems to have drawn from within in creating this spectacle. The film makes the viewer transcend the screen & makes one almost feel like he/she is travelling with Chiron and his feelings.
  • A lot of credit to the psychedelic experience we get from watching the film’s episodes (three – one for each stage of the kid: Little/Chiron/Black) should go to James Laxton’s cinematography that travels behind or in front of Chiron giving us an immersive experience
  • The three stages of Chiron played by Alex Hibbert (the quizzical kid Little), Ashton Sanders (the gangly adolescent Chiron) & Trevante Rhodes (the strapping trapper Black) share equal screen time and it is a stunner that the inner qualities of the kid are expressed just the same by the three actors. The final revelation in the climax followed by Rhodes’ expression of longing tips the honours in his favour if at all a ‘who played it best’ question is to be answered.
  • The supporting roles have all been written marvelously well with character explained and rounded off with little parts each – Mahershala Ali’s Juan repenting at his dining chair, Naomi Harris’ Paula (Chiron’s mother) explaining how she messed up & why it was important for Black to know she loved him, Kevin’s scenes at the Park, Beach & Hotel.
  • Music by Nicholas Britell provides the compassion you would like to express as a viewer with its gentle string notes & the sound design team joins the party adding to the story-telling with the noticeable sound of the waves and water at decisive moments of Chiron.
  • The film’s layers are contributed by different elements – the performance of the cast, the characters written for them, the technical crew’s symbolic touches – but the most difficult of them all has to be the story of an oppressed community and how ways devised by it for its own survival could have deeper repercussions – and the fact that it doesn’t get lost in the unique treatment of the subject makes this work of Jenkins a masterpiece.

What’s Not

  • NA




Verdict Stamp

Moonlight takes you on a rare trip to the sub-conscience of its protagonist and has enough ammunition in terms of its story-telling, cast and crew to make you not only stay rooted there for its run-time but also to think about other layers the maker conveys as you get out of Little Black Chiron’s life as the end credits roll.