What starts as a Tinder date gone very wrong, turns into an unlikely love story for the ages. The new Queen & Slim trailer explores the bond between Daniel Kaluuya and Jodie Turner-Smith's characters, who become known as "the black Bonnie and Clyde" after a deadly run-in with the cops.
The trailer begins with the two sitting in an Ohio diner together, Kaluuya's character questioning why Turner-Smith reached out to him that night. "I liked your picture," she says. "You had this sad look on your face, I felt sorry for you." Not exactly the answer he was looking for.
Soon, they're in the car, all signs point to this date being over, it might even be the only date they'll ever go on. That is until they're pulled over by a cop (Sturgill Simpson) for a minor infraction that leads to the officer pulling his gun. Shots are fired, first by the cop and then by Kaluyaa in self defense. The two are soon on the run, the cop's dash cam video going viral and their photos on the cover of the newspaper with the headline calling them "cop killers."
The drama, directed by Melina Matsoukas in her feature debut and written by Lena Waithe, looks at the improbable bond these two— the man, a retail employee; the woman, a criminal defense lawyer—form after this unthinkable incident. Crazier, might be that they start that date night off as strangers before becoming partners in a crime that some argue isn't one.
As the trailer shows, most see them as folk heroes who were only protecting themselves, fighting back against a system that hurts them again and again. They offer to protect the couple as they work to disguise themselves with haircuts and new clothes, becoming Queen and Slim.
But as they "hide in plain sight," Slim can't stop from wondering if that night was supposed to have a different ending. "What if God wanted me to die and I messed up his plan?" he tells Queen. But, more tragically, Slim seems to be asking whether he should be just another black guy killed by a cop at a routine traffic stop, instead of a fugitive running for his life. It's a point that is all too real. Back in August, the Los Angeles Times reported that getting shot by police is the leading cause of death for black men in America.
Waithe's work has always tapped into the Black experience and this movie is no different. Here's she's delving into the grief, pain, and terror that the Black community feels towards law enforcement through Queen and Slim's romantic journey.
But, is it one with a happy ending? Near the end of the trailer, Queen and Slim are seen trying to get away, only to see a cop on the other side of the garage door. Ratcheting up the tension, the cop standing in front of them is Black.
"I'm tired of playing it safe," Slim says. "I want to ride or die." Fans will get to see in which category these two fall under when Queen & Slim hits theaters on November 27.