There have been some pretty amazing movies released in 2018. From Black Panther, Sorry to Bother You and Equalizer 2. There is something about this movie Blindspotting however, that is truly a cinematic masterpiece within a modern-day backdrop. This comedy does such an amazing job telling the multi-layered story of race, friendships, police-brutality and gentrification in Oakland.
The authenticity of this film can be felt in various ways from the acting to the setting. This can be attributed to the fact that the film is co-written and starring two friends and Oakland natives, Rafael Casal and Daveed Diggs.
Diggs & Casal creatively use their talent and the art of spoken word within the film. Diggs portrayal of Thomas Jefferson and Marquis de Lafayette in the Broadway musical Hamilton has earned him major recognition and a Tony Award. Casal is a spoken word artist and actor. Together, these two friends have created a work of art that keeps people laughing and will get people talking.
Check out some of my favorite elements of Blindspotting below.
The Directing & Authenticity
There were a lot of great shots in this movie and it played like a Oakland-love story. I know that those who are from “the town” are feeling real good about this movie just like when Sorry to Bother You hit theaters. The soundtrack was amazing which also included Kehlani. What’s a real-time Oakland movie without her?
Display of Oakland’s Diversity
If you are familiar with Oakland’s culture or are a native from the town, then you are aware of how people of different cultures and races live in closer proximity to each other. The characters in Blindspotting are also a display of this diversity. The two main characters Colin (Diggs) and Casal (Miles) play white and Black best-friends and Miles is dating a Black woman and raising a Black son.
A Beautiful Commentary On Race And Stereotypes
Colin has three days left on parole for a fight and Miles (Casal) is his hot-head friend from childhood who is constantly putting his freedom in jeopardy. The film follows them for three days leading up to his release from parole. On the last day they end up going to a party thrown by some techies who were also gentrifying Oakland. Miles gets into a fight with a Black guy who stereotypes him for being a Oakland gentrifier. After Miles shoots gun shots into the air, Miles and Colin run away and get into a heated argument about his willingness to get into situations that lead to violence. In a powerful shot with undertones that addressed white-privilege and the stereotypes that Black men are forced to carry in America, Colin tells Miles, “You are the nigga they [the police] are out here looking for!”
Addressing PTSD & Trauma From Police Shootings
After Colin witnesses a Black man be shot by a police officer, he is haunted by the images of dead Black men in cemeteries while taking his daily jog. Blindspotting does a great job illustrating the PTSD and trauma that Black people are forced to endure from witnessing these police shootings. There is also a powerful scene where Colin is having a nightmare about going before a judge who is the cop who shot the Black-man in front of him. His friend Miles is the District Attorney raping about why Colin should be detained and a jury of Black men in Black hoodies.
Hamilton Meets Black Lives Matter
One of the ending scenes is Colin pointing a gun at the officer who he witnessed shoot the Black-man. Colin and Miles jokingly throw bars and phrases together throughout the film but in this scene it is as if Colin finally found his voice and he eloquently delivers a powerful spoken word piece and tells the cop in the end, “The difference between me and you is I ain’t no killer.”