Striving for a clean slate, Collin only has three days left of probation, along with his short-tempered best friend in Oakland, CA; but things take a turn when Collin witnesses a police officer shoot a suspect in the back of the head.
All jokes aside, I thought this was going to be awful. It has all aspects to be a terrible take on police brutality, and the trailer didn’t help either. However, surprisingly this film is the complete opposite, and tremendously unique. Director Carlos Lopez Estrada created a style that blended dialogue and rap in a form that is rather taboo, yet intriguing. The film is a moving paradox. For every amusing sequence involving cultural appropriation or prejudice, there are also chilling moments of violence. Yes, some of it is exaggerated but completely necessary in today’s world.
In like manner, Blindspotting does not hold back. Using hundreds of racial slurs and graphic violence for all of its multi layered messages, the n- word is no virgin in this motion picture and I fully understand why. This film presents Oakland in two distinct perspectives: one side showing a multiracial culture living in a beleaguered environment and the other shows a gentrified city whose residents are excited to start their new lives, as long as they are not bothered by any longtime residents. Comparatively to early favorites this year such as “Sorry to Bother You” and “The Hate U Give”, we are on the road to justice, but in this case with oneself. Viewing the victims of police brutality and witnessing one himself, these ideas begin to haunt Collin as he fails to realize the immediate ways he is putting himself in danger. On the contrary, one of those ways, may cost him his best friend, Miles. He’s white, while Collin is black; but here, the rules apply to anyone. Visually portraying a criminal, Miles wears golds in his mouth, carries a gun, and is solemnly devoted to the streets. Fully knowledgeable of Collin’s probation, Miles insists on reminiscing their childhood by causing havoc in the streets and simply kicking it with the homies. Putting himself, Collin, and everyone they love in danger.
Daveed Diggs (Collin), a theatre star mostly known for his role in Hamilton, is a visionary. As the writer, producer, and lead in this film, he holds his own. In contrast, the other performances are unfortunately average. Their characters are not complex, so nothing special was brought to my attention. Although the performances are ordinary, the script is not. It is truly what drives the film forward by displaying how tough it is to leave the streets, even if it means leaving the ones you love. The film is not trying to be a hard-hitting hood tale, rather, it relies on stylistic editing, complex storytelling, and humor that will surely have your stomach hurting.
Diligently, Blindspotting depicts the reoccurring battle between self-worth and the status quo; while equaling delivering tense turns and plenty of wit.
In a year where several movies have dealt with the Black experience and racial injustice, Blindspotting stands out.