BlacKkKlansman, 8.75/10, is this years must-see movie and is so outrageous that it is hard to believe it’s based upon a true story. Spike Lee and Jordan Peele have delivered a genius racial documentary that depicts the hideous truth of the Ku Klux Klan. The film is set in 1971 – utterly terrifying, considering that is less than four decades ago. The outrageous racial injustice that is at the forefront of the film also shows a worryingly minimal progress to today which is only reinforced by the utterly horrifying camera phone footage from last years’ events at Charlottesville. These clips, reflecting a similarly brutal animosity to the film’s narrative, leave the audience in a speechless state of disbelief at the ignorance that still occurs in the 21st century. This movie forces the audience to become encapsulated by the terrifying truth of America’s issue with race. I will let you know straight away that BlacKkKlansman had my constant attention throughout. Undoubtedly, there are comical parts to the film and humour, when used, is interjected cleverly. However, the film balances this with an underlying serious tone that left me with tears rolling down my face in disbelief.
So let’s get into the plot. Rob Stallworth (played by John David Washington) is the first African-American police officer of the Colorado area. In Colorado, at this time, there is an unsettling divide. After obtaining an acquaintanceship over the phone, Stallworth successfully infiltrates the Ku Klux Klan. But to get past the obvious barrier of Stallworth being black, Stallworth needs to enlist the help of his partner Flip Zimmerman (played by Adam Driver) to make sure his investigation progresses. As their investigation develops, both Stallworth and Zimmerman are shocked at how far they are able to pull the wool over the oblivious eyes of the Klan members.
The duality of genre in this movie and others alike is becoming a common theme in recent films portraying issues surrounding race. Take Jordan Peele’s 2017 masterpiece – Get Out: Peele’s decision to merge the horror genre with a film that is tackling problematic racial issues was one of the contributing factors of why Get Out became so poignant of its time. Spike Lee has decided to do the same thing and merge two conflicting genres perfectly, creating a ridiculously hilarious comedy film that contrasts the horrifying truth of America’s racial problem.
This film has captured the period of time exquisitely. The colour palette oozes everything 70’s but maintains a graininess suggesting that it was shot during it’s time. On top of that, there is also an amazing accompanying soundtrack which shares similarity with the likes of Shaft (1971) and Coffy (1973). Every component of BlacKkKlansman screams American police-like drama and delivers every convention that we have come to expect from a film from this sub-genre.
Washington’s and Driver’s characters in BlacKkKlansman represent two contrasting identity types that perfectly work together – similarly to Lee’s use of conflicting genres. Every part of BlacKkKlansman is a direct observation of how juxtaposition can be used to compliment. From the conflicting genres, the two lead characters’ personalities and the choices of certain scores to scenes, all prove that you can successfully utilise opposition in unison. This film has immediately become one of favourites of this year along with A Quiet Place. Undoubtedly, this is a hard-hitting watch but one that I assure will land a deserving place in your top films of 2018.
Entertainment (of its genre): 10/10
Overall Rating: 8.75/10