- 2hr 15min
- Crime | Drama
- Aug 2018
- Spike Lee
After becoming the first African American detective to work for the Colorado Springs Police Department, Ron Stallworth (John David Washington) decides to call the Ku Klux Klan impersonating a white supremacist in a mission to infiltrate and expose the KKK. To proceed further with the investigation he must recruit colleague Flip Zimmerman (Adam Driver) to act undercover and meet the members face to face.
Based on a remarkable true story, BlacKkKlansman is director Spike Lee’s latest creation. With the support of Oscar-winning Get Out director Jordan Peele as producer the film becomes one of this year’s most impactful and memorable experiences at the cinema. John David Washington proves himself a promising talent with an engaging performance, one that at times resembles the acting ability of his father Denzel. The chemistry between the two leading actors Washington and Driver is admirable with their friendship developing the necessary connection at the forefront of a film abundant with division.
As a viewer you feel involved with the investigation as the high-risk factor is superbly displayed with a number of tense and suspenseful moments. One member of the KKK played by ‘Vikings’ star Jasper Pääkkönen contributes significantly to these moments with his slimy and persistent demeanour keeping matters on a knife’s edge. Another strong supporting role comes from Corey Hawkins as he delivers an inspirational speech as part of a Black Panther rally in a standout scene that uses close-ups of the crowd to great effect.
Despite the horrific details that the film explores there is surprisingly a light-hearted tone throughout that balances the shock with comedy quite brilliantly. Furthermore, the attention to both sides is distributed well as the film takes time to show the influence the Black Panthers and KKK leaders have on their followers. The drama continually shows the difference between both parties but magnifies the similarities they share to sustain the mirroring theme the film displays all the way up to its title. As previously mentioned, BlacKkKlansman does advance slowly, most notably during the first act, however once the film sets into motion it grasps your attention. With the film set in the 70’s the use of modern day footage leaves a lasting message that the issue at hand is not just an event of history but an issue that is still clearly ongoing.
To conclude, although BlacKkKlansman may exaggerate for dramatic effect in areas it does not dismiss the fact that this incredible true story has been brought to light in a fascinating manner. Spike Lee’s well-crafted film has significant relevance in today’s society with a balanced mix of contrasting tones leaving audiences with tears of joy and despair. Nonetheless, BlacKkKlansman conveys an important message in a meaningful way and is most certainly one not to miss this summer.