Review: Colorblind

 


Magdalene (Chantel Riley) is an artist moving to a new city with her young son, Monet. (Trae Maridadi) She is colorblind, a trait she has also passed down to her son and urges him to keep it secret. She tries her best to teach her son the harsh realities of the world while also encouraging his curiosity and things are made even more complicated when their racist landlord Walton (Garry Chalk) comes into the picture. 

A lot of love clearly went into making this film. Director Mostafa Keshvari was moved to write this story in the wake of George Floyd's murder. He employed color scientists to make sure that colorblindness was portrayed accurately. The majority of the cast and crew is BIPOC. In his own words he "acted as a vassal" to get this symbolic story about colorblindness and racism out there. And because all that hard work went into it, it pains me that I didn't like this movie.

It's very heavy handed with its symbolism. It's to the point where the majority of the interactions feel like platitudes instead of actual conversations. I had a similar problem with The Boy, The Mole, The Fox and the Horse. It felt like it was a lesson directed to someone much younger than I.  One of those very valid lessons is how someone doesn't realize how racist they're being. We live in a world where "microaggressions" is now a widely known term and examining how you may be guilty of them and how it can harm POC is essential learning to become an anti-racist. But the film chooses to display this in such an overt way. At one point, Monet brings up a meal to Walton as a bit of a peace offering, and Walton throws the food away and places a piece of cotton on the plate for him to bring back to his mother. Then this very same man later on is shocked when he is called a white supremacist. If you're doing things like that? You have to KNOW you're being racist. That's straight up malicious hate. 

And this movie is filled with examples like that. It has zero nuance. It's a shame, because Magdalene and Monet are interesting characters and the two actors are very good together. I'd like to see them in a different movie. 

I feel awful even writing this because I hate giving small films bad reviews. There's no joy in it.  But I also felt awful not talking about it at all. I haven't lived the experience Magdalene has. Maybe it will speak to you more? I hope it does find an audience because I'd like to hear more thoughts. 

Colorblind is now available on digital and VOD in the U.S.   

Comments

  1. It sounds like you feel guilty for disliking a movie about race. It's come to that point which, I think, is wrong. If the movie sucks...it sucks no matter who made it who is in it and what it's about. I wouldn't mind seeing g this film because I like the Boy mole etc... will see of I cam ever see it.

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    1. I do, I'm not sure I'm *who* the movie is made for, so I feel weird about adding my feelings, because do they really matter? On my blog they do, but out in the universe? Eh, who knows.

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  2. I'm going to stay away from this. I FUCKING HATE RUPERT!!!!!

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    Replies
    1. You know who he is dammit!!!!! He is evil! He's corrupting Nate. Nate has to destroy him for RICHMOND!!!!!!

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    2. Oh that Rupert 😂 I thought maybe Garry Chalk played some other POS named Rupert I didn't know about.

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