On the finish of the play and the movie, Levee, an bold trumpeter in Ma’s band, will get a lowball provide for his songs from the identical white producer who promised to assist his profession. And when Toledo, the band’s pianist, unintentionally steps on his new yellow footwear, the broken-down Levee flies right into a rage and fatally stabs Toledo.
“The subtext is evident, nonetheless: pissed off and damaged from a system of racial inequality, Levee desperately lashes out at somebody extra susceptible than himself,” observes ScreenRant’s Sarah Bea Milner. “As a result of the younger trumpet participant is powerless to direct his anger at those that deserve it, the white males who persecute and exploit Black Individuals. … One can’t assist however really feel sorry for Levee, who greater than something is a sufferer of standard, systemic oppression due to the colour of his pores and skin.”
And Los Angeles Instances critic Justin Chang calls the climax “haunting past phrases” in an interview with NPR. “Levee doesn’t have Ma Rainey’s expertise or her knack for self-preservation, and the load of his previous trauma in the end proves an excessive amount of to beat,” he provides. “We’re seeing a person peering into an abyss performed by an actor who knew his personal life was slipping away. Chadwick Boseman’s final moments on the display are amongst his darkest and in addition his best.”