Oh My Goodness!
This movie is intense.
It might be one of the best movies I have seen in the past couple years. I am not kidding. This movie reminds me of “Crash” that won the Academy Award for Best Picture in 2006. I thought this movie was a lot better. The film follows Collin (played by Daveed Diggs) and his white, childhood friend, Miles (Rafael Casal) on the streets of Oakland, California on his final three days probation.
It is really hard to describe this movie besides the constant intensity that fills every moment. Around every corner there are different, precarious situations that he finds himself in and one wrong move would land him back in prison with an extended sentence for violating parole.
This movie is rated R and is not for the faint of heart. It is raw. It was real. Themes the movie covers include: Police Brutality, Gun Violence, Profiling, Black versus White, Confirmation Bias, Gentrification, and many more.
There is a lot to learn as you see things through the various perspectives of the different people in the movie. There is Collin’s perspective when he sees his friend doing dangerous things around him, like buying a gun, or picking a fight, knowing that a misstep would land him back in jail. There is the perspective of Collin’s ex-girlfriend, Val (Janina Gavankar) who remembers the night that Collin was arrested, and despite her feelings can only see the crime he committed when she looks at him. Miles’ perspective is somewhat shortsighted in that he doesn’t recognize the situation he puts his best friend in when he does not control his actions.
I am not going to give it away but that final scene. It was so intense and uncomfortable it made my stomach churn.
Lastly, I thought the direction by Carlos López Estrada was phenomenal. It was his first and only full length feature to date. Daveed Diggs and Rafael Casal are credited as co-writers on the film, and they deserve even more praise for those contributions.
Honestly, I barely heard of this movie before June of this year, and that is a complete shame. How is it that a film like this goes completely ignored?