“The ending of BlacKkKlansman is so powerful it excuses all other sins the movie may have committed in my eyes.”
BlacKkKlansman is a movie about a black police officer who infiltrates the KKK with phone calls. But the movie isn’t really about that. Spike Lee, the director of BlacKkKlansman, has never been a stranger to political commentary. His movies always try to say something, usually about the struggles of black people in specific periods of time, and BlacKkKlansman is no different.
Spike Lee uses the plot of BlacKkKlansman as a jumping-off point to discuss the issues of racism in America. The way Lee showed, and constantly broke down the views of the KKK helped sell the message that racism is bad. I know the way that I’m saying it doesn’t make it sound powerful, but it was. BlacKkKlansman tackles the issue of racism, an issue that has been dealt with many times before, and makes sure that the audience doesn’t find it stale. I will admit that toward the beginning of the movie there were a few scenes that made me nervous, they made me think that BlacKkKlansman was going to be Lee’s soapbox for two hours, but luckily things picked up.
BlacKkKlansman is a very powerful movie. It takes a while to get the ball rolling, but the ending comes through with moments of intensity that keep building indefinitely until it finally releases in a moment of pure horror. If you’re anything like me you won’t be able to help sit in shock toward the end of the movie. And if you’re anything like the theatre full of old white people that I saw this movie with you’ll shuffle out of the door as quickly as possible when the credits begin to roll. This movie is good. No, it’s great; but that doesn’t mean that it didn’t have some problems.
BlacKkKlansman had an issue of being over-stylized. It has been a while since I’ve seen Spike Lee’s work, but I don’t remember him being a radicalized version of Wes Anderson. Seriously, the story stands on its own but Lee insisted on sprinkling his own flavour into every frame of this movie. Some people might like that, but I found it got old pretty fast. And on top of that there was a very obvious adherence to the ‘show, don’t tell’ rule in that Spike Lee would never just leave something up to the audience’s imagination. If a character has dinner, we have to see the entire dinner. If a character goes to a rally, we have to see the entire rally. If a character goes on a date, we have to be brought along for the entire night. It became tiring wondering when each particular thread of this movie as going to end, and honestly if BlacKkKlansman had gotten a tighter edit it might be the best movie of the year.
But those issues are far outweighed by how powerful BlacKkKlansman was. I go the movies to feel something, and BlacKkKlansman achieved that in spades. And it will be interesting to see if BlacKkKlansman dethrones Django Unchained both in uses of a particular racial slur and in characterization of the KKK being dumb.
Overall BlacKkKlansman was an interesting movie. I had quite a few problems with it at the start, but it seemed like they faded away one by one as the movie went on. The ending of BlacKkKlansman is so powerful it excuses all other sins the movie may have committed in my eyes.
I give BlacKkKlansman an A