Joshua Buck’s review published on Letterboxd:
Ron Stallworth, an African American police officer from Colorado Springs, CO, successfully manages to infiltrate the local Ku Klux Klan branch with the help of a Jewish surrogate who eventually becomes its leader. Based on actual events.
There’s no hiding place from the issues that this movie is trying to address. Whether it is cops killing black people referencing the Black Lives Matter movement or the topic of straight-up racism this film executes it so well that not only do the issues work as the driving force of the narrative of the movie but because of this it avoids the topic being too much in your face.
The tone of this film was brilliant dealing with such a serious issue and striking a good balance between comedy and what I felt like sometimes was horror. Now if you’ve seen this movie and are thinking about why horror. I think towards the end of the movie when the KKK is burning a cross is a really horrific symbol that after everything that has happened in the movie they still carry on. The dark nature of the montage at the end screams of connotations and mise en scene of horror. The burning cross, the darkness that oozes and removes colour from the shots to then show the real-world footage of modern day and I forgot how powerful that ending was. This has to be one of the strongest endings to a film I have ever witnessed and one that I think for the people that watch BlacKkKlansman (and I really encourage you too) you will never forget the ending.
The soundtrack was peaceful but yet invigorating and really lifted the scenes when it needed to. One prime example that I can think of is when Ron Stallworth (John David Washington) is walking to check out what the Klu Klux Klan is shooting and he then walks over and sees the shapes are of black people with afros running. It makes it really hard to watch with the soundtrack elevating this revelation. The shot of all of the targets running is a very bittersweet shot as it is such a beautiful image but at the same time represents such a negative message.
The performance of Adam Driver and John David Washington combined work out immensely well and the chemistry is evident. You really do believe their performances and when put in tricky situations both actors really bring out their best.
This movie is everything a movie should be in my opinion. However, although not a masterpiece it is such a good film that conveys its message and really does show the true horrors of racism.
I rate this movie a 4.5/5.