I used my FandangoNow rewards to rent this movie. It is the passion project of Rafael Casal and Daveed Diggs (of Hamilton fame). They wrote it but left the directing up to Carlos Lopez Estrada, an interesting choice. Usually a passion project would be written and directed by the same person; Roma, The Shape of Water, etc.
The third main character in this movie is Oakland, California. It plays a starring role and helps demonstrate the change going on in the city that Casal and Diggs are from. I loved Sorry to Bother You's use of Oakland, and this movie elevates it to another level.
The movie follows Digg's character over the last three days of his probation. There is so much tension and suspense in this movie. While I did guess what would happen next a few times, there is always some unresolved tension. I think it was the most suspenseful movie I saw all year. It doesn't take long to get pulled into the movie and feel for the characters.
The movie centers on race. It does a phenomenal job of showing the white vs the black experience for two people of similar backgrounds. It directly explains a few situations, but many smaller interactions are left to the viewer to understand the differences. It works so well without hitting you over the head. This is in stark contrast to a movie like Blackkklansman.
There is a house party scene that I am still confused by. After the scene it is mentioned that the victim and the owner are partners. I don't understand if this is a business or a romantic relationship. If romantic, it makes the scene even more confusing. The victim takes issues with outsiders moving in, but is personally involved with a king of the outsiders? Am I missing something here?
I highly recommend this movie. I think it is one of the best of the year. Follow it up with Sorry to Bother You to get Oakland a few years down the road...