Don Reviews "Blindspotting"
It has been well documented on our show that I spent time in my working life as a probation officer, and there were many times where I was disappointed with one of the probationers who was so close to being through their sentence and by a stupid mistake ended up getting sent “back down”. I could not help but have a personal stake in the success of some of those I dealt with, and part of that no matter how difficult was to try to walk a mile in their shoes even though I had never been where they were. In trying, I felt it made me better at my job. In “Blindspotting” from director Carlos Lopez Estrada (in his feature film debut), he takes a script by Daveed Diggs and Rafael Casal and tells a very real and gritty story about this.
Also staring Janina Gavankar (The League), Jasmine Cephas Jones (Girls), Ethan Embry (Empire Records), Tisha Campbell-Martin (Martin), and Wayne Knight (Seinfeld), this film takes place in Oakland, with best friends Collin (Diggs) and Miles (Casal) working together at a moving company. Collin is in the last few days of getting off of probation and trying to stay on the right side of the law. While driving home one night to try and clear his curfew, he ends up being a witness to an officer-involved shooting, which throws a monkey wrench in every aspect of his life.
This film shows Oakland in a good way without throwing it all over the place in the way I have seen a couple of times this year with other cities. The acting is also very good, with a great supporting cast keeping things moving for the four main actors in Diggs, Casal, Jones, and Gavankar. They handle about 90% of the film combined, and the real-life relationship between the men shines through on the level of Gibson and Glover in the “Lethal Weapon” films. There is also a bit of acapella hip-hop as the men write rhymes for fun that comes to a head in some of the best rap work I have ever seen in a film.
I was also very impressed by the script itself. At just over ninety minutes long, it does not waste any time at all with a lot of great comedy that compliments the drama and intensity. I loved that it has a message of trying to do the right thing through it all without getting to preachy or make it into a political statement. Please realize that this has an “R” rating due to its graphic violence, language, and adult situations, but if you are OK with all of this, I will recommend it as the coveted full price in theaters.