Daveed DiggsJanina Gavankar...
Carlos López Estrada
In 1 Cinema
It’s a slow Tuesday, you come back from work beat and you just want to sit on your couch, eat, and watch TV. As you flip through the channels, you come across a movie that’s just about to begin and you give it 10 minutes. But then you have to make a choice whether to change the channel or wait. If you had landed on Blindspotting, you would probably change the channel but, maybe, just maybe you should wait.
Blindspotting follows convicted felon Collin (Daveed Diggs), on his last week of probation, with his best friend Miles (Rafael Casal); both are working a moving job that takes them all around Oakland. After witnessing a cop shooting and killing an African American man right in front of his eyes, Collin faces the reality of being a convicted felon, being an African American with his large build and style, and being subject to jail or even death, if her were to engage in any sort of altercation with police.
Discussing issues like racism, police brutality, news agenda, labels, and more, this film is rightly timed for American audiences with different political events happening over the last few years. What Blindspoting really nails is it not being cliché; this film is a raw envisioning of how some African American men face the world and how they fear it.
Being so specific and personal to American audiences makes this film a resonating feature in America, and while international audiences can sympathise, the film won’t be as profound for them.
What really sunk this film from being incredible to being average, is how long it took to get to the point; for 45 minutes, half the film, the audience were watching the daily routine in a somewhat unorthodox life. The first half of the film could have been cut in half, while still managing to make the same point and show how Collin is bubbling under the surface. As the second half of the film strolls in, the audience can truly visualise and even somewhat feel the fear and suffering Collin, and those like him, experience.
A specific scene of Collin having a nightmare will probably resonate with audiences more than anything as it is very well made, captures the true essence of fear, and seems realistic enough not to be a dream.
As for the acting, Daveed Diggs does an incredible job conveying emotions like fear and frustration as well as other harder ones like suppressed emotions or completely snapping. Diggs also manages to balance the good guy nature of his character with that which circumstances push him to be. The relationship between Collin and Miles is a major pillar of this film, and their comic banter makes the film much lighter to watch, without taking away the gravity of its cause. This is mainly due to the great chemistry between Diggs and Rafael Casal. Casal also gives an amazing performance as the hot headed maverick demanding respect; he is able to portray his character’s arch of development throughout the film.
Without the dragged-out first half, Blindspotting would have been an incredible film. That negative criticism aside, however, this film is worth a watch, especially if you are interested in its themes.