Film Critic Matt Taylor falls in love with Barry Jenkins' newest film, If Beale Street Could Talk - a stunningly romantic filmWritten by Matt Taylor on 8th May 2019
Film Contributor Tom Smith Wrinch is more than impressed with Daveed Diggs and Rafael Casal's new film Blindspotting, with it's modern themes and destablising plot
Blindspotting has to be amongst the most intriguing films of the year. Glistening with humanity, it provides insight into the social and political injustices of America’s landscape. It manages to capture with essential dignity the deep-rooted racial tensions of its past yet equally unfolding to us, the audience, a warmth that is rarely witnessed on screen, resonating such a powerful theme with the raw integrity required to ensure that this film stays as memorable and true to itself as its intended purpose.
Starred, written and produced by childhood friends Daveed Diggs and Rafael Casal, we follow the lives of ex-convict Colin (Diggs) and his volatile friend Miles (Casal) as they battle the racial and social politics of America’s fluctuating landscape, attempting to navigate their way amongst the oppressive subjugation of inherent racial bias and the shifting class structures surrounding them. After witnessing a white police officer murdering an unarmed black male, Colin is forced to confront his own demons as he attempts to make it through to the last three days of his parole, ultimately pursuing to escape the maze of prejudice that lies before him. Diggs’ soulful and emotionally rich performance allows us to truly resonate with his character, his reserved composure however is stark contrast to that of Casal, his white capricious friend who equally struggles to stay afloat in a relatively unforgiving racial environment, troubled by the racially polarised environment of Oakland’s suburbs.
“The chemistry between the two is electrifying
This uncertain indie aims to destabilise its audience, moving it away from subtle comedy instead towards its somber dramatic nature as we become thrown into Estrada’s world of racial tension and class indifference. Unfortunately, in recent times this has become all too real. With exceptionally raw dialogue, interesting and inherently honest characters and an overall contentious plot-line both Diggs and Casal succeed in utilising their movie as a conduit through which they openly express their resentment for the precarious racial indifference that modern America has continued to display; emotionally truthful, unwavering and courageous in the face of such issues it is evident that this indie clearly shows no signs of holding back. This film succeeds in not only providing political commentary upon some of the most heated and indeed, sensitive issues facing America at this time but does so with such dignity and composure that it fundamentally reveals at its core, the basic elements of our humanity. And for that, this symbolic piece of art is not one to be missed.
Verdict: This playful and energetic picture excels in not only providing integral commentary upon the serious underlying themes of America’s contemporary milieu but does so in a way that is ultimately, unwavering, unapologetic and fundamentally unpredictable, revealing at its core a sense of realism and humanity essential within today’s increasingly volatile environment.