Malcolm and Marie: The Moral Philosophies of Loving

Bill Ivans Gbafore
4 min readAug 2, 2021

“You know, you are the neediest man I have ever dated.”

— Marie

A few months ago, I bumped into Malcolm & Marie, a movie about misogyny, love, hate, passion, compassion, authenticity, mystery, racism, and the rollercoaster that go on in a relationship. I followed the screenplay and the characters, their emotions and the arguments, their logic and reasons, their romance, and how they communicate their feelings. For about two hours, Malcolm & Marie in a world of their own showed us the many shades of love that exist. It is the shouting and ranting, the tears and expressions of love entangled with insults all at once; the rage, the anger, the confusion, and the arguments that envelopes the two as they portray what goes on in many relationships. But beyond the brawl and emotionally abusive relationship lies valuable lessons: what I otherwise choose to call ‘the moral philosophies of loving.’

There are three key things, amongst the many I want to share as special highlights from the movie.

Recognition & Acknowledgement

Malcolm comes home from premiering his movie as a director with rounds of applause from his audience and dances to James Brown while he sips on whisky. Then there’s Marie, his girlfriend making him mac’ and cheese. He dances to his accomplishment and success, takes pride in his ego as a black filmmaker making headlines in a white man’s land, and out of a sudden, grows concerned while Marie is not celebrating with him and looks displeased and an argument broke out. While in the middle of an argument, she remarked:

“You forgot to thank me, Malcolm. It’s not a minor f****** detail. That’s a big one.”

Malcolm, who made an elaborate speech had acknowledged everyone else besides his girlfriend, yet he claimed the speech was in a hurry and called it a minor detail. Not only did he forget to thank her, but he wrote her story using Imani as the main character for his film. He wrote her past life for the screen and got appraisals off her heels: Imani portrayed Marie as a struggling black drug addict he met years ago.

The point is not about the story. It’s about recognition. Appreciation. It’s about giving your partner the acknowledgment they…

Bill Ivans Gbafore

Bibliophile, Lover of Culture, Arts, Economics, and Lifestyle