In case you’ve ever endured emotional abuse from somebody whose ego has utterly overtaken their potential to behave humanely, then one scene in Malcolm & Marie could be particularly triggering. The Sam Levinson Netflix characteristic finds a pair straddling the bounds of what occurs when a recovering addict collides with a big-headed filmmaker – whose newest work is a couple of drug addict. As Marie tries to get Malcolm to acknowledge her affect over his undertaking, Malcolm resists the notion that she might have something to do along with his perceived greatness.
Malcolm is ready all the way in which off when Marie calls him “mediocre,” a lot in order that he exits the home to train a literal match. Reentering the home, the place Marie now has the nerve to be enjoyable in a tub, he asks his counterpart to face by her phrase, and she or he does. It’s at this level that Marie turns into a menace to Malcolm’s pleasure that have to be eradicated.
“You wanna play soiled? Nicely let’s go,” he begins. “I promise I can harm you 10 instances worse. You are a f*ckin’ featherweight, a level-one boss. I can snap you want a twig.”
As you may think, what comes subsequent (on the 42-minute mark) is neither form nor compassionate. So here is what occurs in that bathtub scene – you understand, in case you are not within the temper to look at a brutal verbal onslaught that lasts for almost 10 minutes.
Malcolm & Marie Is not a Love Story; It is a Poisonous Story of Habit, Obsession, and Ego
Shocker: he gaslights her.
If anybody has ever tried to make you query your actuality – notably with insults about why your actuality is unreliable – then you definitely, my buddy, have been gaslit. Decreasing Marie’s seek for gratitude to a seek for validation, Malcolm accuses his girlfriend of utilizing his movie to “justify her existence.” As a substitute of acknowledging the parallels of his movie to Marie’s life, he calls her solipsistic and maintains that his film had “nothing” to do together with her.
He cavalierly discusses his previous conquests.
In one other one in every of an abuser’s oldest methods within the guide, Malcolm tries to disprove Marie’s involvement in his movie by working down a listing of different girls he drew inspiration from: Jess, an ex who rode CitiBikes with him round Brooklyn, Jayla, an ex who ties her shoe strings with two loops, and an unique dancer from St. Louis named Keke, who he has intercourse with throughout a Marriott penthouse suite. And when he could not hurtfully attribute a quote from his movie to a different ex-girlfriend, he chalked it as much as “an previous performed out line that each n*gga finished heard earlier than.” Elegant.
He makes gentle of her trauma.
As if he hasn’t already torn Marie down sufficient, Malcolm then goes on to principally invalidate her total expertise: “However you are an addict, proper? That is what makes you so f*ckin’ distinctive, proper? That is what makes your contribution a lot extra vital, proper? Get your complete f*ck outta right here. You are not the primary damaged woman I’ve recognized, fucked or dated.” That’s, earlier than noting Leah, one other ex-girlfriend of his, who overdosed on Tylenol – which marks the second scene within the movie the place Marie’s suicide try is thrown in her face.
After debasing and degrading Marie due to his personal wounded ego, Malcolm then claims she likes to be debased and degraded. As Marie tries to carry onto her dignity with a smile, Malcolm disgustingly replies, “Cease f*ckin’ smiling, ‘trigger you appear to be a clown.” Even his horrible conduct is supposedly Marie’s fault.
After which, he f*cking cries.
In a sweeping finisher transfer, Malcolm ends his tirade with maniacal expressions of his affinity for Marie. As if it justifies his storming assault, he doubles down on his denial. “I simply love you, child. I do not want you. However I like you.” Then – with tears in his rattling eyes – Malcolm lastly provides Marie credit score, however for his character’s lowest level: “It is the tip, the half that makes it such a tragedy. The half the place she loathes herself due to all of the guilt and the disgrace. She will’t let the nice in. That is the half that is primarily based on you: her lack of ability to fathom that there is someone on this planet that simply loves her, regardless of her not loving herself. That is you. That is the half that is not fiction.”