I’m not a big movie guy, but I don’t remember one where the black man is the central character in a love story that’s not a comedy or chick flick. Swan Song takes a serious stab at presenting black love from the perspective of the man who has to make some tough decisions for the sake of keeping his family happy.

What appears to be a perfect relationship story quickly pivots on how grief can affect things. Throughout the entire movie, the main character, played by Mahershala Ali, deals with his grief, and later we’re surprised to learn that his wife has been going through her own personal struggles with grief that the whole family had to adjust to. Time helped heal what she was going through but there will never be enough time for him to find comfort on how to handle his situation that will forever impact his beloved wife and young son. 

The movie gives a rare glimpse of what a black man goes though during an entire arc of a relationship from courting, marriage, child rearing, career, personal conflict, and most importantly, delivering comfort to the family in the time of need. 

To spice things up a bit, the movie had a sci-fi feel to it, but in reality, much of what appeared futuristic will likely all be realized in our children’s lifetime. The one part that may be a tad more long term reminded me of a Frankenstein experiment which keeps you on your toes the whole movie. However, Glenn Close as the Dr. Frankenstein type character, and her staff, prove to be very sincere and without malice in their efforts. 

The movie is a slow burner that muddles along at a slow pace with very few characters to follow. The artistry is breathtaking, the special effects are flawless, the music is perfect and the acting is extraordinary. 

The fact that I stayed awake the entire movie speaks volumes. I only lasted 35 minutes on The Matrix. Swan Song is at the theaters and on AppleTV+.