And now, it’s time for yet another piece of art with strong conceptual ideas hamstrung by inferior execution:
As much as I respect its lofty — often unwieldy so — goals, this new movie is often more reminiscent of a glorified student film — an expert one at that, but still — with the strings too-transparently showing…and not in a Brechtian way where the artifice deepens the material; this air of unbelievability prevents the depictions from being sufficiently convincing, a crippling crutch when it comes to such a vital subject that requires a sensitive touch to fully resonate. Sometimes, in unexperienced hands — no one involved here is particularly seasoned, though the energy of their approach is palpable, shot through every frame like a current— welcome ambition can result in an unfocused product that’s too all over the place.
Blindspotting undeniably gets at a lot of interesting ideas; too many, in fact, and I’m not sure it got them to where they needed to go to totally work. Such loose ends can of course inspire more rigorous contemplation in different contexts; I’m in no way bemoaning the lack of resolutions or clear-cut messages, both of which would’ve further dampened the truth such art strives for. But there’s a difference between deliberately-nuanced and complicated strands that make you think, and those that seem underdeveloped. Too much of the flick falls into the latter category.
Then again, unfilled density is always better than completely-realized simplicity. Though I — and hordes of others — more commonly call for shorter runtimes (high irony coming from this excessively-verbose scribe), Blindspotting may have benefited from being lengthier to properly handle its respectable expansiveness. Instead of just adding more scenes, the powers-that-be probably would’ve been wise to reconceptualize the narrative structure to produce a more tightly-cohesive viewing experience. For instance, the climactic rap is justifiable in theory, but such a flight of magical realism can too easily prove laughable, not harrowing, when it feels so out of place.
Like much of Blindspotting, such individual elements are endlessly explorable, but they crash under the weight of their own scatterbrained-ness without a foundational center to hold them.
Even so, I’ll always side with more over less, so Blindspotting‘s worth seeing nonetheless.