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Blackklansmen An Okay Undercover Story

 

When the first scene begins to roll in Blackklansmen, I was surprised when, showing a scene from classic movie Gone With the Wind, a man comes in spouting out a white power message, but bloopers included. Then the title shows up after it with a specially funny subtitle that solidifies the fact that this was in fact going to be a comedy. Not that this wasn't told ahead of time, but I didn't know and it made for an interesting movie watching experience.  The tone was really surprising because the subject matter was so dark, racism being the core conflict in this movie, yet the movie was serious when it needed to be, yet I thought it wasn’t as captivating as a could have been.

All around the cast gave good performances, the main actor John David Washington was also good, while not mind-blowingly fantastic he did have a fun energetic performance and a good sense of comedic timing that helped in what was the funniest scene in the movie over all. Also I really loved Adam Driver's performance as a serious monotoned cop because he was really funny doing it and it wasn’t something I expected from him.Spike Lee also did a good job of defining the movie, its tone and how it was edited.

The places where the movie doesn't shine though is character development, while Ron Stallworth (Washington) character is changed by a black power rally at the start of the movie, he really stays the same over the course of the movie, nothing changes after that. In the climax of the film he doesn't change their either. After becoming more active in being black (the focus of the rally) his character never evolves further, in a sense, his character development is finished within the first act of the movie. 

This issue is also seen with Adan Driver's character Slick, while he was played well, the story never really finished with his development. When the investigation starts planning near the beginning, the audience finds out that Slick is Jewish, later after Slick is forced to lie and say the holocaust was a good idea to convince a KKK member of his beliefs, Slick is shaken and explains that to Ron that he didn't really dwell on his heritage growing up. After that the whole development is  abandoned for the story. The third act of the movie, while interesting, is quick and doesn't really last long, watching it, I barely registered that it was the climax. 

I think the film's main goal, I believe, was to preach the message that the KKK is still a racist cult that is to this day, a real threat. It managed that while also being great in its comedy and at least worth it to see it once.

 

Writtern by Dallas Fitzmartin

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