A fiery piece of angry art that still manages to balance some gut-busting comedy, Blindspotting tells the story of two lifelong friends Collin and Miles (played by Hamilton star Daveed Diggs and his real life friend Rafael Casal).
Collin is days away from being finished with his probation, obsessively adhering to his terms with the hope that he’ll never see the inside of a cell again. Miles, the furthest thing from a good influence, pushes him into uncomfortable situations that could ultimately threaten his subsequent release as an entirely free man.
Miles is surely more of a troublemaker than Collin, but he’s white, making his actions far less consequential. A story that explores the effects of gentrification on life in Oakland and the racial binary lens in new and interesting ways, Blindspotting has an abundance to add to the on-going discussion.
Scenes in the movie also yield much power and innovation, reminiscent of the famed sequences that rightfully catapulted Do The Right Thing to much lore. When a sense of heightened reality and dreams take center stage, the film is as compelling as ever – Particularly two specific moments which stand on their own as breathtaking forms of expression.
Daveed Diggs and Rafael Casal are truly inspiring as the co-writers, producers, and stars of this film, which was bought by Lionsgate on January 25th after a rugged bidding war at this year’s Sundance Film Festival.
The interpretation of characters these two up-and-comers provide are some of the best in recent memory. Their impeccable chemistry causes the film to transcend even a few questionable script choices. The ease at which Diggs seamlessly weaves his signature spoken word into the film is ravishing at every turn – As well as the anger he continuously shows. Which actually goes much deeper than his performance, whilst making his presence feel like it must be taken seriously at all times.
At times, Blindspotting may come off as a bit too coincidentally perfect, but thats ultimately forgotten as a result of the films enormous depth. Carlos Lopez Estrada, who’s only directed music videos prior, is a filmmaker to certainly look out for. It’s going to be very exciting to see what’s next for the young and hungry cast & crew of one one Sundance 2018’s most prolific films.
By Ted Morissette