Blindspotting

Blindspotting ★★★★

How the fuck did this not garner more accolades?

A truly bold and inventive new method of storytelling: a hip-hop semi-musical of sorts that feels completely here and now.

Blindspotting is confident, earnest, funny, and smart.

All the characters here feel real, and we feel for them, even when they make bad decisions.

The central theme here is how our personal experience blinds and biases us against the unseen struggle of others.

A film that seeks to explore that while balancing themes that include gentrification, race relations, police brutality, white privilege, the justice system, guns, appropriation, and more is taking quite a big bite, but Blindspotting manages to chew just fine.

There are still a couple relationships and themes that feel unfinished, unresolved, or untouched, but the ground this covers in 95 minutes is astonishing.

It's a buddy film of sorts, and our central pair here are both played magnificently, with beautiful, natural chemistry and genuine conflict that doesn't devolve into cliches or feel forced.

Daveed Diggs (This is the dude behind clipping.? Talk about multi-talented!) and Rafeal Casal are both awesome to watch here. They draw your eyes in every scene and shot, expressive but contained. Diggs is the perfect choice for this character, particularly with the way the rapping is incorporated.

That's a really, really risky thing to do. It can easily feel out of place in the medium, and it's not hard at all to venture into cheesy or preachy territory.

Thankfully they pull it off to great effect, with tension ratcheted up in some of the film's most intense moments as the poetry escalates in rapidity and verbal intensity, generally while the camera approaches Diggs or vice versa.

Not only does it feel like sort of portmanteau of the mediums, it fits perfectly with his character, our themes, the setting, and the time.

Cinematographer Robby Baumgartner hadn't had much DP experience prior to this, and it shows a little. We gets lots of interesting lighting, eye-popping production design, and intermittently creative framing, but little in the way of long-form motion or intricately woven together sequences (with two possible exceptions), plus shots here and there that aren't quite in focus.

Should be required viewing for Americans under 40 right now. And really for everyone. One of the very best of the last half decade.

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