Daily mini-review: Blindspotting (Netflix)

‘You got a… Is this an Uber?’

Today’s film recommendation is another one from Netflix, although this one is slightly less family friendly – the BBFC have rated it a 15 and it is very much a 15. However, it’s such an important and vastly underseen film that I really urge everyone to watch. Blindspotting had it’s world premiere at the indie film festival Sundance in 2018, and became a small word-of-mouth it – but still remains undeservedly little known.  It is in possession of a top-tier brilliance level of quality that deserves to be shouted out about from the rooftops.

Co-produced, co-written and co-starring two best friends (Daveed Diggs and Rafel Casel) Blindspotting is a blistering social commentary meets buddy comedy. In present day Oakland, California Colin (played by Diggs) has only three days left on his parole sentence, punishment for an incident we find out about later in the film. Colin is immensely anxious to follow the rules of his parole to the letter, to avoid extension as he’s desperate to get his life back together. But, on his way home he’s the sole witness of a police shooting that has devastating consequences and threatens to ruin his lifelong friendship with Miles (played by Casal) his short-tempered and reckless best friend since childhood.

Few films manage to balance light and shade as beautifully as this one does. There are moments of brilliant laugh-out-loud comedy and hilarious satire alongside more tragic and serious moments, but these are seamlessly threaded together. The film has a lot to say about friendship, masculinity, love, racial stereotypes, expectations and gentrification but whilst the film treats these topics with seriousness and importance they deserve – this is not a preachy film.

The film uses it’s buddy-duo comedy to provide seething socio-cultural-political commentary through a combination of wit and seriousness. The community to which they belong, the community they love, is being erased in the pursuit of profit – they’ve got a lot to be angry about. And yet that anger is channelled through a hilarious bromance that feels truly believable. The film follows the pair over the course of several days, each social interaction  symbolising a piece of the uneasy jigsaw that places like Oakland have become. With an injection of money, that is only accessible for a select few, there comes change that is used to oppress and isolate the masses that long predated its arrival.

One of my top films of 2018, with a running time of only 95 minutes, Blindspotting It’s hard-hitting, compelling, eloquent, authentic and utterly mesmerising. A total must-see.

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