DETROIT. The story is riviting and told from a point of high tension that remained on and turned up through the entire film. The camerawork – which reminded me at times of some of Katherine Bigalow‘s previous direction – lent to the pressure on screen and allowed this film to feel a bit like a ‘War Movie’, which, in a way, it is.
The production quality was top par and everything seen on the screen from the realistic riots to the impeccable Costume Design (who did that and where did they get all those clothes?!) was incredible!
Which brings me to the characters and perfomances – most of which I would give VERY high marks. I was very impressed with the cast – and casting – primarily made up of people I had never seen or heard of – and I see a great many films and movies.
One larger character: Black Folks – as a Collective People, weren’t given a great deal to do – or say. We were seen as mistreated and unfairly treated. As angry and overwrought. As violent and opportunistic.
Without the intellectual content that often sparks an emotional connection (more empathetic, more sympathetic or at least more understanding) for viewers who may not have been around in those days, didn’t learn much about it or just don’t understand, “… why are y/our people so violent”.
I’m not bothered by anything in this film, specifically. I just found it jarring that we went from zero to Six-Sixty – from breaking up a juke joint and taking a perp walk to breaking locks and taking bicycles and typewriters.
A bit more of and about the reasons and reasoning behind the riotous uprisings of the 1960’s (1990’s and 2000’s) could have been given more context. That became trivial as the film rolled on and grew.
I would highly recommend DETROIT to any/all of “Us” – and to a great many others. With the caveat that they should be prepared to be upset, sad and angry. A lot of tension (and hand-held camera) and could perhaps use another edit. The acting performances and tech work were more than solid and the film itself was very, very well done.
Review by Jason Sugars jason(at)fusicology(dot)com