Blindspotting ★★★½

Blindspotting is a prime example of the perks and pitfalls of a freshman film.

One the one hand, there’s a ton of interesting themes. It sometimes seems like the filmmakers favour quantity over quality, opting to touch on a myriad of opinions rather than develop a consistent and strong controlling idea, but each topic is explored enough to continuously sustain the viewer’s interest.

And all the ideas are conveyed in an interesting way. Whether it’s via rap, symbolism, or editing, the filmmakers have clearly spent a lot of time developing innovative ways of expressing themselves.

The first time status also comes with the standard shortcomings.

In jamming all those themes in the script, Diggs often ends up writing conversations about those themes. It’s dramatic, there’s conflict, but themes are very infrequently conveyed in action, just words.

To be clear, the conversations are really interesting and the dialogue is both witty and layered. I just wish there was a little less less talking and a little more doing. I have no doubt this comes from Diggs’ theatre background, and he certainly takes advantage of the cinematic medium within the editing, staging, and sound design, which mitigates the potential critique of the story being told in the wrong medium.

Another classic freshman mistake is that the protagonist is fairly passive. Secondary character, Miles, is almost always the one responsible for pushing the plot forward. When Collin does make a choice, it’s usually because the pros and cons point so firmly toward the answer that his actions don’t show any character.

But despite these flaws, the undoubtedly emotionally effective and brilliantly soaked in cultural specificity that heightens and speaks to the themes. Frankly, I loved watching it. It’s emotionally moving and intellectually stimulating; it’s clever, thoughtful, heartfelt, and just plain entertaining. It’s a great first foray into the medium, and I can’t wait to see what these guys do next.

Entertainment - 2/2.5
Artistic Merit - 1.5/2.5
Controlling idea - 1/2.5
Technical elements - 2/2.5