“BlacKkKlansman”, directed by Spike Lee, tells the true story of Ron Stallworth (John David Washington), who became the Colorado Springs Police Department’s first African-American detective. Determined to prove himself worthy to his superiors, Stallworth decides, for his first assignment, to infiltrate, investigate, and expose the local Ku Klux Klan chapter in Colorado Springs. Stallworth recruits Detective Flip Zimmerman (Adam Driver) into the undercover investigation, and together they aim to topple the racist organization and prevent their violent agenda from spreading.
The film, “BlacKkKlansman”, encompasses powerful performances, eloquent but witty dialogue, and social commentary about the current political and social climate.
The two main protagonists, both portrayed by Washington and Driver, were expected standouts in this film.
Washington’s portrayal as Ron Stallworth was captivating and entertaining, to say the least. Washington’s ability to be funny in one scene, but serious in the next scene showed that his range as an actor created a well-rounded character in Ron.
Although Driver’s character, Flip Zimmerman, wasn’t the central character of the film, Driver’s portrayal and demeanor as Flip made his character not only a standout, but an integral part of the film’s narrative. Driver’s ability to portray a Jewish detective, who had to act as a white supremacist, shows how much talent Driver has to offer.
Both Driver and Washington had great performances in “BlacKkKlansman”, but the performance that surprised me the most was Topher Grace’s portrayal of the Grand Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan, David Duke.
Grace was able to portray the white-washed, “civil racist” with his character, however in more intimate moments of the film, Grace could instantly change his demeanor and deliver a more sinister character and show the true evil and intent behind David, and the Klan in general.
Though the actors did an excellent job delivering their performances, the true glory of the characters in the film owes a debt to the writing.
The witty, but captivating, dialogue created an entertaining, yet immersive narrative that never had a dull moment.
Overall, “BlacKkKlansman” is a narratively dense film that showcases strong performances and maintains a significant amount of cinematic integrity. However, the thing I appreciated the most about this film is its social and political commentary.
It’s very clear that there is political and social tension in this country.
There are groups and politicians who are taking initiative to bring much needed reform to this country, but the problem is that many people believe that racism has “come back” when the opposite is true.
“BlacKkKlansman” shows that these issues of racism, white supremacy and oppression have always been prevalent. It has simply gotten worst with the current administration in the White House.
Spike Lee is a director that, in my opinion, is often overlooked in mainstream cinema. He consistently makes movies that highlight that struggles of the African-American community and has become a voice for the voiceless.
By highlighting these issues that many minorities are facing in America today, Lee bringing awareness that these issues need to be resolved, while offering representation for African-Americans in film, and I believe “BlacKkKlansman” thoroughly reflects his message and artistic aesthetic.
Rating: 5/5 Stars