"Waves" Goes the Wrong Direction in Racial Depiction, Despite Its Intent and Beauty
Incluvie Film Contest | Open Submissions Deadline August 1, 2023
Movies are entertainment that allows the audience to focus on something other than their everyday problems. For example, maybe there’s trouble at home or work is very stressful. A person can sit down at either their home or at a theater, and all they have to think about is if the girl will get with her dream guy. However, movies also can make the audience think deeper about an issue that plagues society. Blindspotting does that without shying away from the intense reality of police brutality and racial discrimination.
The movie follows Collin (Daveed Diggs) on the last three days of his probation as he tries to stay out of trouble so he will not face any consequences. Unfortunately, his best friend Miles (Rafael Casal) is not as careful when leaving situations that wouldn’t make the police pleased. Both are dealing with the gentrification of Oakland, where they have lived their whole lives. One day on his way home, Collin witnesses a police shooting of an unarmed black man. He has multiple haunting flashbacks of this moment, and his attitude changes, not necessarily for good.
What’s rarely explored in movies with shootings is the outcome on the witnesses. There will be a gunfight where multiple people die on the street, and then it will go to the next scene in a different setting. There is nothing inherently wrong with that, as the movie tells a story, and the bystanders are not a focal point. Yet, it’s refreshing to get a look into the psychological effects of such incidents. Collin can still go about his everyday life, but he’s reminded of the shooting at almost random times, whether that be while he’s running or a kid making a hand gesture.
This is the type of movie that will make many both uncomfortable and confused. In some way, that might’ve been its downfall as it didn’t make a significant amount, garnering $5 million at the box office. People simply didn’t see the film, which is unfortunate because when it comes to movies on police brutality, Blindspotting is one of the best ever made. It’s a movie that must be seen multiple times to understand fully, and many average moviegoers are unwilling to do that. So their first impression is their only impression.
The movie’s ending will leave some perplexed, as it has one of the most unique and thought-provoking scenes one will see. It catches the viewer off guard as nothing seems to lead up to a rap song, but it becomes crystal clear with more viewings. Blindspotting tells a story like no other and deserves to have as many viewings as any other social commentary movie. The relevance of this movie has sadly only grown in the four years since its release.
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