Title – Blindspotting (2018)
Director – Carlos López Estrada (Summertime)
Cast – Daveed Diggs, Rafael Casal, Janina Gavankar, Jasmine Cephas Jones, Ethan Embry
Plot – Oakland native Collin (Diggs) must get through his final three days of probation without any instances of law breaking, something made harder by his best friends Miles (Casal) loose cannon attitude and the fact Collin witnesses an horrific police shooting of a black man on his way home from work one night.
“You monsters got me feeling like a monster in my own town!”
Review by Eddie on 15/06/2020
A topical film upon release and sadly perhaps even more so when watched today, Blindspotting is a sometimes powerful but mostly middle of the range experience that marked down debut feature director Carlos López Estrada and his stars Daveed Diggs and Rafael Casal as talents to watch.
With Estrada busy directing music videos for some of the hottest talent in the industry, Diggs finding himself as the lead in TV series Snowpiercer and Casal recently appearing alongside Hugh Jackman in the high-profile HBO release Bad Education, the creators of Blindspotting have been quick to move forward with their next career moves, moves that were showcased in this film that never feels at home within itself.
Mixing fairly stinging social commentary into a buddy drama that focuses on long term Oakland locals and best friends Collin and Miles, played by Diggs and Casal who also scripted the film, who are finding it hard keeping Collin out of trouble on his last few days of probation for a crime he was suckered into in a way that the film keeps hidden for a majority of its runtime.
Removalists by trade and wannabe rappers by day, Collin and Miles get into further troubles when Collin sees the shooting of a local black man at the hands of his local police force, unearthing a deep-seeded resentment for the way in which his people have been treated for far too long but a resentment that must be restrained under the current circumstances of his position.
Uneasily mixing comedy and drama into a topic that could be ripped out of any news headline from across the country, Blindspotting is unable to create a fully formed narrative for Collin and Miles to thrive in and Collin and Miles themselves don’t always make for the most enjoyable of leading figures, with their poor decision making and non-achiever attitude not making for the most likeable of figures.
Diggs and Casal embed this men with energy and soul, no doubt stemming from the fact they bought them into existence via their own hands, but the wannabe emotive finale and big ticket moments in the film never feel wholly earned or that memorable in a cinematic landscape that is starting to tackle these issues in many a various form.
Final Say –
Acting as a calling card for its creators, Blindspotting has its moments to shine but this topical event never gels completely as it dodges and weaves through its various tones and strands.
2 1/2 healthy juices out of 5