This will get your pulse rac­ing

‘Blindspot­ting’ tack­les some of the most press­ing so­cio-cul­tural and po­lit­i­cal is­sues

The Witness - - ARTS -




Collin must make it through his fi­nal three days of pro­ba­tion for a chance at a new be­gin­ning.

He and his trou­ble-mak­ing child­hood best friend, Miles, work as movers, and, when Collin wit­nesses a po­lice shoot­ing, the two men’s friend­ship is tested as they grap­ple with iden­tity and their changed re­al­i­ties in the rapidly gen­tri­fy­ing neigh­bour­hood in which they grew up.


I didn’t know what to ex­pect com­ing into the cin­ema to watch Blindspot­ting but I can con­firm that it was not the roughly 90-minute emo­tional roller­coaster that I was to be taken on.

Yes, I know that phrase is in­cred­i­bly overused but the phrase works per­fectly to con­vey the way the movie, al­most jar­ringly, moves view­ers from one emo­tional state to the next.

I found my­self laugh­ing to the point of my eye­lashes be­ing wet, be­fore al­most im­me­di­ately be­ing thrown into a heart-rac­ing state of dour grave­ness. And I loved it so much for that.

Blindspot­ting is one of those movies that peo­ple aren’t aware they’re miss­ing out on be­cause with a lesser-known cast and di­rec­tor, it doesn’t gen­er­ate ma­jor buzz nor does it have huge mar­ket­ing ma­chin­ery be­hind it. This is a tragedy, quite frankly, as the movie of­fers so much in such an en­ter­tain­ing, un­pre­dictable and in­no­va­tive way.

Blindspot­ting man­ages to tackle some of the most press­ing so­cio­cul­tural and po­lit­i­cal is­sues in Amer­ica (and else­where) head-on and hu­man­ise them through the eyes of two friends in one city.

From po­lice bru­tal­ity and vi­o­lence to gen­tri­fi­ca­tion, from ra­cial pol­i­tics and iden­tity to cul­tural ap­pro­pri­a­tion, noth­ing is spared.

What makes Blindspot­ting in­cred­i­ble is not so much that these is­sues are touched on, but much like Get Out, it is how this is done that sets it apart from movies with more de­lib­er­ate so­cial com­men­tary.

In­stead of look­ing at the is­sues in iso­la­tion, the film takes a look at them in an al­most episodic nar­ra­tive that forces us to take a look at them as a in­ter-re­lated whole.

The friend­ship of the main char­ac­ters serves as the seem­ing only con­stant in a chang­ing city and chang­ing world and this is how the movie ini­tially draws us in with its great hu­mour and street panache.

Blindspot­ting drips cool with its char­ac­ters chang­ing from di­a­logue to freestyle rap at the flip of a switch. Start­ing with gags and light-hearted fun, the movie grows darker al­most in real time, with the su­perb per­for­mances re­ally adding to the feel­ing of a de­scent into dark­ness reach­ing a crescendo that will have your pulse rac­ing and eyes glued to the screen.

***** Ethan van Diemen


Rafael Casal (left) and Daveed Diggs take a breather in Blindspot­ting.

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