Projections - Movie Reviews
With Jim Sabatini


Daveed Diggs and Rafael Casal

Rated: R for language throughout, some brutal violence, sexual references and drug use.
Reviewed by: Jim  
Release date: July 20, 2018 Released by: Lions Gate Films

New dynamic, if unstructured film from Carlos Lopez Estrada has a musicality about it that riffs much about friendship and social issues serving as a melting pot for the affections instilled in the Bay Area's Oakland setting.

Blindspotting might make a decent companion piece to the concurrent, more creatively surreal Sorry To Bother You as it locates an unconventional beat while alternating from shenanigans to dolor. Daveed Diggs (Tony-winner for Hamilton) and Rafael Casal are the leads - Collin and Miles - as well as the writers, ensuring a bounce to their material.

One thing is for certain - Diggs and Casal have a viable affinity in their roles which inevitably builds to a fervent clash as allusions click in with motifs regarding gentrification, race and cruelty. At the start Collin is nearing the end of a probation for a "fire technicality" earning a wage with grilled tooth buddy Miles in a moving business using hip-hop language to convey their feelings about their metropolis being encroached by nouveau riche.

Collin has a collected demeanor about trying to move forward down a more righteous path, while the dedicated, tempestuous Miles needs to be armed with a girlfriend and young son. An incident involving a white cop and black man after Collin is stopped at a red light intersection has quite an effect on him whether through a "trial" or jogging through a cemetery.

Through impartiality and entitlement a recognition of changes around these two young men of different color is something they must face — and when "Blindspotting" stays with Collin and Miles the timeliness does resonate. Diggs pungently expresses his range in this medium from the expressionless to the impassioned in this freestyle tracking on life. Perhaps like a witness to an arrest there's awe to what outside forces can do even as coincidences mount within the unobtrusive local seasonings. If only Estrada didn't overwhelm with the enterprise itself that would have made its central relationship more sincere and emotionally simmering.

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