Blindspotting: Film Review

I must put my hands up and admit that I wasn’t aware of Blindspotting and it only came to my attention through positive word of mouth on social media. I’m so glad I checked it out because it is one powerful movie.

Daveed Diggs and Rafael Casal, real-life friends who wrote the screenplay together, star as Collin and Miles, two friends who work as drivers for a moving company. Collin only has three days left on his probation and is trying to keep his nose clean, whereas Miles is erratic and decides to buy a gun. One night, Collin witnesses a white police officer shoot a black man multiple times and it haunts him, threatening to ruin his friendship with his white, gun-toting pal.

Blindspotting begins with a more comedic, light-hearted tone but the laughs gradually become more sporadic as the movie gets darker and takes on more serious themes, like police brutality, cultural appropriation, gun violence, and the difference between being a black man and a white man.

The script is incredible, taking on big subjects in a way that felt organic within the story, rather than preachy. The friendship and the conversations between them felt realistic and I loved their observations about gentrification in Oakland, California because I can fully sympathise with the thought of hipsters taking over.

Diggs is best known for his role in hip-hop musical Hamilton and he makes sure to put his rap talents on display here. The first time is just a playful bit with Miles, but the last time, my God, is the climax of the whole movie. I don’t want to give anything away but it is emotional, powerful and incredible to watch. I don’t know how he managed to convey such fury and frustration while spitting out really tricky bars. I was so impressed I had to watch that scene again.

Casal was fine enough but Diggs was the one who really stole the show. He is the character you are supposed to sympathise with and that’s easy to do – you want him to finish his probation and start anew. Through him, you feel his panic in seeing a police car and the frustration of having to look out for his reckless white friend. They have strong support from Janina Vanankar as Val, Collin’s ex, and Jasmine Cephas Jones as Miles’ wife Ashley.

I liked Blindspotting from the get go but the finale, with the powerful rap, had me sold. I can’t stop thinking about it. It really is one of those scenes that you watch open-mouthed in shock and awe. Highly recommend.

In selected cinemas Friday 5th October 

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