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All We Can Learn From Malcolm in Netflix’s Malcolm & Marie Pt I

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An avid creative whose word plays so much that words say I play too much; a Ki'shon flow. Life is a journey and we're all full of stories.

Malcolm & Marie, released in the first week of February this year, generated a lot of conversations online. It felt like Acrimony when the Tyler Perry movie came out and had people talking about the themes and the decisions in the movie on the parts of the major characters. The one thing that will never go out of style no matter the representation on the big screen is love and drama.

And Malcolm & Marie brought the drama amidst the love. Hinged on a plot that sees the movie revolve around just two people on the screen for over an hour and thirty minutes, we see the reveal of two souls who are in a relationship and without a backstory;

the viewer is hooked and knows so much about these people without being provided any information from the onset. In this write-up, we’ll delve into the side of Malcolm as a male in the relationship and the characteristics he showcases.


Propaganda, an LA native knee-deep in the hip hop culture who doubles as a poet and spoken word artist, said this in his song “Bear with Me” Love is not love if it’s never been tested. I couldn’t agree more. It makes sense to say the things we feel in times that we aren’t under duress or stressed.

But all your ideas and philosophies are just cute sayings that make you happy until they’ve fought a few rounds in the ring of life and survived. This movie is essentially a relationship fight. The themes they highlight however are interesting.

And without a doubt, we can say that both Malcolm & Marie are twisted but Malcolm showcases his own a bit differently.

malcolm and marie - fear of man in relationship
Malcolm and Marie

The Fear of a Man in a Relationship

In the movie, Marie details the fact that Malcolm has done his best to go over and beyond for all the surrounding people, as much as mentioned them during the premier as people who helped him through tough times but neglected to mention the girl whose life he based his film on; Marie, herself.

Malcolm, as much as he has his good sides, shows one flaw that should be one of the biggest fears of a man in any universe with a woman by their side. It should be the genuine fear of any guy out there too, but it comes to the fore in relationships.

Loving everyone else except those who matter. It sounds outlandish, but it’s easy to overlook. It might breed from possible familiarity, or it might come from the numbness of not being able to return a love an individual has never experienced.


Doctors working on patient
Doctors working on patient

Take a doctor, yeah. Late hours. Around the clock working, out there healing and helping people get better. It’s easy to have the excuse that because of their work, they can’t possibly do the best they’d want to for their partner. The partner in question may understand. But to what point? Human beings don’t have the bandwidth to last forever. Immortality is not a gift that is suited for humankind.

It’s easy for the doctor to use his work as an excuse. It’s easy for him not to realize that though that’s the fact, and his partner may truly understand, she still yearns for him, regardless. That’s a scenario any male can fall prey to. And what do males do when they fall prey to it?

They replace love, time, and attention with money, gifts, and whatever they think will make their partner happy. If the girl gets frustrated – it’s possible that out of rage the doctor will hit her with the thought, “but I’m doing all this for you.” And what does that sentiment create? A locked room where the girl has to be in, mute herself and her emotions and takes whatever it is he is giving her, lest he calls her ungrateful.

But the fact is, you’re denying one of the most important people in your life the love they deserve. Because a doctor will run out in a heartbeat if a patient was rushed in and needed surgery.

a scene from the movie

In the end, the inevitable happens, the girl either stays on in the relationship, deprived of any joy. Or she walks out. The natural narrative in society would say that the party that walked away is the villain because she knew what she was getting into, so what exactly did she expect? And people will easily buy into that, but the real problem is not giving your love attention, and care to her.

In no world are those 3 things replaceable with material things. But we think they can replicate the same value. What we’re seeing when a girl walks out of a relationship like that is a reaction to a cause, not a cause. She got into a relationship with someone she clearly knew wouldn’t have the time to spare as she would like. But the doctor in this case also walked into the said relationship highly aware of how his life is set up.

a scene from the movie - Marie
a scene from the movie – Marie

As much as you want to blame the girl, blame the doctor. It’s really simple, if you don’t have the time, please don’t get a girlfriend. You will frustrate her and yourself in the end. People make time for the things they care about and so the excuse of being held up by work every single damn time is just a way out to not take responsibility at all.

I’m not about to act like this is as easy as it looks, because, on the side of the doctor, it’s easy to treat others the way you’ve been treating them your entire life. Having a partner, however, is a different ball game and you are prone to choke and get it wrong because you’ve never handled something of that nature.

But that’s why these conversations need to be had. You must talk if you’re taking the step. You must talk whilst you’re taking the step, and talk after you’ve taken the step.

We’ll touch on the second lesson in the next write up. 

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