Pulsating with life and raw energy, Carlos López Estrada’s unyielding drama commands attention.
This is the director’s debut feature film and he shows his class as we observe a convict going through his final three days of probation with the chance of new beginnings.
The dreadlocked Collin, an African-American brilliantly portrayed by Daveed Diggs, counts the hours to freedom, but he has to avoid any kind of trouble. This may be difficult because of a white boyhood friend – Miles (Rafael Casal), a trouble-making, foul-mouthed individual who has a gun and a temper.
The two work together as movers and also spend down time in each other’s company. But the stakes are increased when Collin witnesses a police shooting.
Their friendship is sorely tested as they grapple with changed realities and identity and in the rough neighbourhood they grew up in. In psychological profiling at its most acute, we get inside the heads of Collin and Miles.
Written by Diggs and Casal, Blindspotting addresses social issues with rare insight and a funky rhythm.
There is an unsettling chemistry between the two men and a sense of danger because of Miles’ unpredictability and Collin’s determination to stay clear of the law. There is a violent scene at a party when the drug-fuelled Miles attacks an African-American.
Set in the US city of Oakland, it grapples with poverty, crime, police brutality and overcrowded neighbourhoods.
This is a buddy movie offering slapstick, anguish, love and social commentary in its narrative – and it’s a distinct cut above the norm.
Cast: Daveed Diggs, Rafael Casal, Aviel Ayoung, Casey Adams, Ethan Embry, Jasmine Cephas Jones
Director: Carlos López Estrada
Classification: 16 DLPV