remolano’s review published on Letterboxd:
It’s insane how much depth is covered and compacted into an hour and thirty six minutes: Racial injustice and police brutality. Stylish visuals and flashy editing. Buddy comedy and rapping freestyles. Symbolism; blindspotting. This film has no right to be so deep in 96 minutes. Funny that a lot of those things I mentioned seem so simple but are used so well. There’s a lot to think about in this film though.
Starting with the basic elements, Daveed Diggs and Rafael Casal are both incredible here. The screenplay allows their chemistry to be truly electrifying. When the basic comedy duo trope has mostly been recycled into overused drab Blindspotting makes it feel more refreshing than ever. The dialogue is witty and crisp, and the engaging images they’re depicted on screen are endlessly gripping to watch. I wish I could put it into better words instead of sounding like a pretentious prick but this film truly doesn’t have a single sequence that’s dull or lifeless.
I only just started talking about their conversations, but there’s seriously really more to it for those who haven’t seen it yet. Apparently Diggs has association with the musical Hamilton. If there’s anything I don’t know one bit about, it’s musicals, and much less Hamilton. Ever since Frozen came out I said fuck that shit. However, the importance of Diggs’ performing experience, and director Carlos López Estrada’s background with music videos, is clearly evident in the intensely arranged rapping sequences.
These scenes reminded me of Childish Gambino’s This Is America music video. Not in the same sense of meaning or style, but in the same attention to detail. This film has a lot of that. Bottom line, Blindspotting has blended the screenplay, the camera, and these impeccable portions of musical vulnerability to express a message in a way I’ve never seen a film do before. They come in small spurts but the mini transitions into the “rap musical” scenes are by far where the film shines. On paper it sounds dumb, but it’s masterfully utilized here.
That message it tries to get across is not as easy to articulate though. I mean, it’s really obvious. A blind man can watch this film and take away its emphasis on discrepant privilege between whites and blacks and societal (and more specifically police) assumptions of those same people. It’s just, a lot. Among the powerful music and Ruben’s Vase symbolism, the themes are mostly portrayed through the duality of Diggs’ and Casal’s characters in Collin and Miles respectively. The symbolism behind the Rubin’s Vase inspires the title in its analogy of the visual illusion being a “blindspot” to something we think we see when we’re seeing another. This blindspot is portrayed through Miles’ decisions and lifestyle depicting “the n**** they’re looking for,” as they’re assumptions of Collin let Miles’ mistakes fall on his responsibility. It’s so dense for the simple concept of preconceived notions betraying our society.
Blindspotting takes an idea that we’re all familiar with, and innovates it to levels of creativity that make it a true underrated gem. It’s somehow both consistently hilarious and riveting at the same time. Great direction, writing, performances, and overall a refined touch to it that makes it special. It’s a lot to process, but it’s incredibly worth it.