Review: Blindspotting | Redbrick | University of Birmingham

Review: Blindspotting

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
The chemistry between the two is electrifying, serving only to provide enough energy and dynamism within the movie to help lighten the sinister undertones that it seeks to instil. They provide comic relief in this powerful tragedy to ultimately shift the majority of this film into a buddy-comedy that unsurprisingly develops a sense of realism and humanity at its core. Through interesting dialogue containing enough profanity to kill the holy ghost they offer us an insight of friendship in the truest sense of the word, inserting throughout elements of light relief and deep emotion within their interactions and thus allowing the audience a symbolic breath of air amongst the heavy connotations that the movie attempts to carry. That said, as the film draws on the gravitas of the issues at hand become all to apparent, Carlos Lopez Estrada seeks with every frame to ensure that audiences are made more and more aware of these underlying themes.

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.         



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8th December 2018 at 7:00 am

Last Updated

8th December 2018 at 4:25 pm