Blue Collar ★★★★

This is a film that presents a very harsh reality in an extremely ugly setting
From the muted colors to the neutral palette, this is not a pretty looking story being told, and rightfully so
Tackling a plethora of subjects and themes so pivotal to the American way of living could only be handled in such a manner
Starting off with a trio of great performances, Blue Collar simply feels so damn real
Keitel, Kotto, and Pryor are all extremely nuanced characters that are very lovable and easy to empathize with
Each one has their own sets of problems and must get out of them anyway they can, and that becomes pivotal in the end, which I will touch upon soon
Some great direction from Schrader also makes you feel as if you are in the room as the events transpire, particularly with regards to the use of depth through strong framing
What’s so great about this film is by the end of it, both Keitel and Pryor are justified in their ways of escaping, therefore making it impossible to have an antagonist versus protagonist outlook on the two of them. They are simply doing whatever they can to claw their way out of the pit that is their corrupt Union, and this duality makes for a truly powerful final shot
I cannot stress enough how much this film simply feels organic. It is a deep look into society, and for a directorial debut, it is quite the feat, but for a legend like Schrader, it seems second nature to him

This was the first film in a Labor Day Double Feature at the Alamo Drafthouse, and Paul Schrader had a Q&A which provided a lot more insight and fun facts about this film, so I would suggest anyone who is interested to look up some history about this film! Taxi Driver was up next, and it’s gonna take a night of sleep to digest my thoughts on that, a luxury that Travis didn’t have!

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