Netflix UK film review: Blindspotting
Chris Bryant | On 19, Oct 2019Reading time: 2 mins
Director: Carlos Lopez Estrada
Cast: Daveed Diggs, Rafael Casal
Watch Blindspotting online in the UK: Netflix UK
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 to bring us into their world. 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. An often aggressive colour-palette, coupled with brave uses of silence and sound, it’s never in doubt that this is a team doing some of their best work. Adorned with festival awards, it seems inevitable that this is a group of people whose names you’ll be excited to see again in any film’s credits.
Littered with hip-hop references and razor-sharp wit, Diggs and Casal bring their passion for music into the film just enough to ensure a gritty and genuine feel, without it ever becoming a gimmick. 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.
Blindspotting is available on Netflix UK, as part of an £8.99 monthly subscription.