Rating (4 out of 5)
I was troubled the other day when I wrote my review of Florida Project; was I being overly harsh relative to other critics? Did I just not get it? Can I only understood action movies? After watching Blindspotting, I understand now what attributes were missing in Florida Project, and believe my rating on Florida Project was accurate.
Blindspotting is a powerful movie, that moves quickly from beginning to end; containing humor, drama and a powerful message, all wrapped into a neatly packaged 1 1/2 hours.
The movie is about Collin (Daveed Diggs) who has 3 days left on his probation. He can’t leave the county of Alameda and has to return to the half-way house every night by 11:00. Him and his best friend Miles (Rafael Casal) work for a moving company. Of the two friends, Miles is the trouble maker. The relationship between the two friends and how they are impacted by their environment is the basic arc of the movie.
I know a lot of reviews talk about the whole movie, but I have decided to stop doing that, instead I am going to talk about things I did or did not like.
One item that was interesting is you don’t know why he was convicted of a felony until a about 1/2 way through, and someone who was witness, sees him and recounts the story to a friend. The way that was done was intriguing and humorous. We also understand why Collin and his ex-girlfriend are strained. The story also shows insights into the relationship of Collin and Miles and how they are impacted by the environment around them.
With 3 days left to go on his probation as he is driving home to make his curfew, Collin witnesses a police shooting a black man who was running away. The movie doesn’t touch on whether that was right or wrong which I thought was an approach that was needed. It wasn’t saying the policeman was right or wrong, but exploring the sense of fear you have being a black man in Oakland, where that potential could have been you. The pamphlet on what to teach your kids on how to react to the police reinforced the message. Again, not blaming the police.
The scene when he meets the policeman at the end, and his rap I thought was really powerful. He belts out the rap, where in other scenes he stumbled through a rap or said it slowly.
Blindspotting means they were trying to convey came through well there in the rap, and came out in other aspects through the movie. Blindspotting is seeing only the one image at a time (the face or vase below), and was the term his ex-girlfriend used to remember the image for her psych test.
One part I didn’t like was they didn’t apply the Blindspotting to the policeman at the end. Which in the way they made the shooting neutral they could have done, which I think was good point. As his girlfriend said, “training your brain to see the other image is helluva hard”, which goes to all people on all sides of the fence, policeman, black, whites, asians, etc.
Probably the most powerful use of Blindspotting used, is when he asked his ex-girlfriend, that when she looks at him, does she see the felon from that one night, or does she see him. She never responds and he hangs up.
The movie was also shorter than most of the others out there right now, which I appreciated, coming in at 1 1/2 hours. Blindspotting didn’t bounce around a lot and stayed focus.
I look forward to watching this again.