Elan Rubin’s review published on Letterboxd:
BlacKKKlansman is an incredible film and I hope it becomes an all time influential film in our nation’s history.
Spike Lee is at his filmmaking best here with his storytelling; the characters and their dialogue are what drives the heart of this story. John David Washington was fantastic as Ron Stallworth, and Adam Driver was also fantastic as “Ron Stallworth” while Topher Grace gave an eerily life-like performance of David Duke. The editing was great and the split screen shots were powerful and added a lot to the scenes they were used in.
The rhetoric portrayed throughout and the larger message just slaps the viewer so plainly in the face, it’s the sad truth that it rings true today in our society.
Sadly, I had actually never seen the news footage shown at the end of the movie. It just breaks my heart, especially as a member of the Jewish community which is only one of the minorities the white supremacists will always look down upon, that these so-called “pure Aryan Whites” are willing to attack simply because we’re supposedly different. I can’t imagine a society where white people rule the entire country and try to separate, discriminate, or eliminate people who don’t look or think like them. It’s also been exactly a year to the date of the evil tragedy in Charlottesville, and the rhetoric used by the “leader” of this country is often of the same tone used by the former Grand Wizard, Duke himself.
As far as the plot and storytelling go, this movie is 5 stars. The only reason why I didn’t give it a 5 is because there are some factual details from the memoir, which I had the pleasure to read before seeing the movie, that are slightly dramatized or changed to add more dramatic substance to the plot. Without spoiling these moments, all I’ll say is that I personally feel that Lee would’ve sent an even stronger message by keeping the movie adaptation as close as possible to the actual details of the investigation. It’s astonishing to think that so many of the things Stallworth went through as an undercover cop really happened, and the real story is nearly unbelievable in its own right.
All that being said, BlacKKKlansman is a remarkable film that brings a good mix of dark humor and sobering seriousness to a story that truly needs to be seen to be believed.
If you’re still with me, thanks for taking the time to read my review and go see this movie ASAP.