VOD film review: Blindspotting
Chris Bryant | On 19, Oct 2019
Director: Carlos Lopez Estrada
Cast: Daveed Diggs, Rafael Casal
Blindspotting is a rare gem of a picture that manages to be a social commentary and a thrill-ride without making sacrifices on either side. Written by and starring Daveed Diggs (Hamilton, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt) and best friend Rafael Casal (Are You Afraid of the Dark?), the film offers a peek into the life of an ex-convict about to finish probation, who is reassessing his relationship with his unpredictable best friend and surveying his gentrified hometown.
Between the pair’s excellent writing and Carlos Lopez Estrada’s smart direction, Blindspotting never falls behind where tension is concerned. When it’s witty, there’s tension; when it’s satirical, there’s tension; when it’s scarily honest, they find new levels of tension. Playing Colin and Miles, Diggs and Casal deliver a rare chemistry that gives the film real weight by cleverly juxtaposing the lead characters. While Colin tries and fails to avoid precarious situations on his journey to freedom, Miles’ natural charm and desire for real experiences often lead him in the opposite direction. Their natural rapport stops the film from straying into the expected, or the predictable – in fact it’s anything but.
With a script this good, talent this talented, and commentary on racism that’s at least two steps ahead of anything else, it would be easy to overlook the technical excellence Estrada’s crew delivers. From the colour palette to the brave uses of silence and sound, this is a team doing some of their best work.
Littered with hip-hop references and razor-sharp wit, Diggs and Casal bring a genuine passion for music into the film. Their tale of gentrification and racism manages to avoid every possible cliché or predictable move. An intelligent look at how people view themselves and their surroundings, Blindspotting is nothing short of a thought-provoking masterpiece.