Chiron, also known as Little, is the protagonist in Barry Jenkins’s film, “Moonlight”. The film takes us through Chiron’s journey from his childhood to adulthood while exploring his life’s experiences and the people who shaped him into the man he becomes emotionally, physically and sexually. However, the basis for this growth is evident in the first 10 minutes. The main problem faced by the protagonist within these minutes is constant bullying because other boys perceive him as different. Based on the script, “three young boys (adolescents, 12/13 years old) with sticks chasing Little who is running, terrified” (Jenkins & McCraney, 2017, p. 2).
Little’s weakness is his homosexuality and lack of acceptance into the society. However, there is no mentioning of its connection to any Ghost in the past. Notably, this weakness can be said to make Little behavior in a weird manner.
Jenkins describes Chiron’s life focusing on the physical realities of it with a subjective approach throughout the script that makes the audience feel the journey rather than just watching it. As such, the inciting incident starts where the scriptwriters introduce Little’s sexuality. However, this is made possible by the introduction of another character, Kevin, who saved Little and also seems to be gay. Precisely, this state continues as Little acquires more friends like Juan but continues to be bullied by others.
Jenkins and McCraney portray the school bullies as the antagonists and they are a great challenge for Little’s weakness. They arrange an after lunch beat-down, and one of them, Terrel, pushes other kids away to provide adequate space for the protagonist to be humiliated.
Just before the Midpoint, it is evident that Chiron is already grown into a young man, but his childhood continues to be part of his present life, specifically his sexuality and the relationship between him and his mother. The turning point shows Chiron finally deciding to confront his bullies, showing that one should really shape his or her future (Jenkins & McCraney, 2017, p. 46).
However, Chiron’s ability to open up about his sexuality is an illustration of the freedom he has to pursue. Jenkins also shows Chiron’s expression when he holds the cocaine pipe for the first time. Undoubtedly, these events demonstrate the protagonist’s escape from his weakness and acquisition of the ability to confront his bullies. At the climax of the story, Chiron’s problems are far away yet emotionally present for him. The climax of this interesting drama is reached when Chiron finally reunites with his longtime best friend and desired lover, Kevin.
There are three obstacles that prevent Little, the protagonist, from achieving his goals: being black, homosexuality and drug abuse. Jenkins and McCraney introduce the audience to the structure of the film by break Chiron’s life into various sections between which his age advances. Similarly, these sections show his encounters with bullies at childhood and life in drugs during mid-life. For instance, the beach scene marks a new beginning for Chiron as he finally acts on his sexuality (Jenkins & McCraney, 2017, pp. 52-53).
It clearly demonstrates meditative, somber, longing, impressionistic and wistful moods. The script also presents a major conflict revolving around Chiron who tries to find his identity and true love within the ruins of Miami’s ‘drug-possessed’ neighborhood. Firstly, the scriptwriters try to convey Little’s gay personality by identifying “the hints of something sensual, fleeting in its appearances; Kevin’s cheek wedged close to Little’s neck” (Jenkins & McCraney, 2017, pp. 18). Secondly, Jenkins also depicts Paula as loving specifically when Paula tells Chiron that she would not wish for his heart to turn ‘black’ like hers was. She says, “Didn’t come all the way the hell to Georgia to have you fall into the same shit, Chiron” (Jenkins & McCraney, 2017, pp. 67). Lastly, Teresa and Juan use food as an enticement for Chiron to make him share his life story. Juan tells Chiron, “You don’t talk much but you damn sure can eat” while Teresa adds, “that’s alright, baby. You talk when you ready” (Jenkins & McCraney, 2017, p. 7).
Through Paula, Chiron’s mother, the scriptwriters illustrate the themes of parenthood, redemption, and identity. Moreover, we understand Chiron drug problem through his mother especially when they reestablish their relationship with a reversal of roles. Chiron becomes the drug dealer and Paula, a clean and reformed character. Through Kevin, the author demonstrates Chiron’s homosexuality from a very young age. Also, the bullies at school help the reader understand the protagonist’s personality as a humble boy who lacks masculinity. Lastly, Similarly, Paula’s character is used to demonstrate the main characters response to parenthood. Precisely, Chiron seems to prefer Juan and Teresa as surrogate parents as his mother is more of an antagonist than a parent. In turn, it leads to Paula expressing some jealousy as she tells Chiron that she is his only real family. Through Juan, who advices Chiron to confront his oppressors, the protagonists abilities are reveals. Chiron transforms from a vulnerable little boy who struggles to communicate to a character that resembles Juan.