If you haven’t seen Queen & Slim yet, first of all, how dare you? What are you waiting for? But mostly, you should stop reading because we’re about to talk about the ending.
This film unapologetically confronts legacy, love and the plight of being Black in America. It centers on two people, who are on a first date thanks to Tinder when things escalates after they’re pulled over by a White cop. They shoot him in self-defense then go on the run.
Watching Queen and Slim, played by ESSENCE cover girl Jodie Turner-Smith and David Kaluuya respectively, moviegoers became invested with their outcome, praying they get away with a crime they didn’t want to commit and praying that they see the other side of that ocean as they planned.
But their fate wasn’t that simple.
After putting their trust in a stranger who screwed them over, our unlikely hero and heroine’s journey was cut short. So short in fact, Queen was mid-sentence, answering Slim’s question about legacy when she was fatally shot by police. It hurt, and still hurts.
“I base all my decisions directorially in authenticity, so I knew that had to happen,” Matsoukas explained. “[Lena Waithe] actually wrote it a different way and I wanted it to be a little more complex, so I challenged her to come up with another option for the ending. We went back and forth about what could play out. And when she came up with the ending that existed, I cried. I knew that was it.”
Check out the video above to hear what else Matsoukas had to say about the ending of Queen & Slim and to see her talk about the Easter eggs in the film and what they mean. Did you spot any?