In the midst of what’s happening in the world today with the reinvigoration of the #BlackLivesMatter movement, it seemed appropriate to revisit something of the cinematic nature that had initially whacked me viciously upside the head, eyes wide open of the continuous issue we Americans are facing with racism in our country.
I still vividly remember the empty *REGAL* theater I sat in while watching a showing of Blindspotting. Granted, one theater can be a very inaccurate representation of the grand population, but in hindsight, Carlos López Estrada, Daveed Diggs, and Rafael Casal’s feature-length debut ended up banking in only 5 million dollars total at the box office. As of now, the information for the budget of Blindspotting is still unknown, but if I had to guess, this movie probably didn’t even draw back the amount it cost for them to make it. If anything, they most likely lost money.
Besides the inventively catchy dialogue, relentlessly funny humor, entropic (yet kind of messy) plot, and its heartbreaking commentary on the very real racial biases against black people that exist prominently in America, there’s one particular element that I wanted to focus on the most when it comes to Blindspotting; that being, of course, its infinitely praised conclusion involving a rap/poetry-slam styled scene between the main character (Collin) and the police officer that had added heat to Collin’s torment over the course of the movie’s 4-day period. Obviously, much more than just a speech about his feelings, the words he shouts recap the psychological background in the events of these few days that lead to his spiel; we finally see the physical face of a degraded soul, a soul that tries its best to cover up, achingly wishing for the unfairness set upon him to finally end in the community of Oakland. As I said though, it’s not just feelings that he emotes in this articulation, he’s also simply describing the public incidents that surrounded his experience verbatim as they had happened.
Yeah, sure; to many, this may just be another one of countless heavy-spoken political takes on the subject. What matters though is that it’s a damn good one, a damn gut-crushing one, a damn “straight to the f*****g point” one, and one that I doubt not a single individual could walk away from without having their jaw-dropped dead onto the floor after witnessing it. Whether you agree with Diggs’s statements or not, it would nonetheless be spectacular if you and everybody else could become exposed to it. The rant whole-heartedly hits unlike anything else regarding the matters of what it’s like to be a black person in a country full of ingrained prejudices.
Sorry, I have more, but seriously; if we could somehow get all Americans to momentarily see this powerful short clip—today especially—I would only hope that it could encourage some amount of contemplation, understanding, or motivation for our country’s many citizens to seek out and research more information when it comes to just how unacceptably corrupted the police system is to this day in the United States. I just don’t understand how documentary after documentary, news report after news report, and statistic after statistic that someone could not recognize that our practices in law enforcement must be changed drastically, whether or not they’re a democrat or a republican—this is certainly not a time to win bonus points or something for your “side.”
I know this review is a bit “vague” and a bit “duh; well obviously” but I am writing on a movie media platform, not an intricate political blog; because, obviously, my knowledgeable profession isn’t political activism. However, I think as film reviewers, it is our duty to bring attention to readers of existing media art pieces that effectively communicate information revolving around historical or modern-day racism in America. That’s just my two cents, otherwise.
Verdict Change: B+ —> B
“Blindspotting” is now available to stream on YouTube, Google Play, Amazon Prime, Vudu, and HBO Now/Max.