Star Cast: Delroy Lindo, Jonathan Majors, Clarke Peters, Norm Lewis, Isiah Whitlock Jr., Chadwick Boseman, Mélanie Thierry, Paul Walter Hauser, Jasper Pääkkönen, Jean Reno, Johnny Trí Nguyễn, Lê Y Lan
A Joint By: Spike Lee
What’s Good: It’s a journey that you’ll need to be mentally prepared before embarking it! Imagine Quentin Tarantino and Martin Scorsese teaming up to make a film on Black Lives, just imagine & watch this
What’s Bad: Length of the film is debatable, I personally had no issue but to some, it might be one of the nitpicky complaints and also there’s enough violence (Warning for the fainthearted)
Loo Break: The twists might tempt you to pause the film for a while and get back to the real world but don’t, just binge-watch it!
Watch or Not?: GET SET TO BLOW YOUR MIND!
Da 5 Bloods starts with 4 African American Vietnam war veterans reuniting for a personal mission. Why 4 you ask, if the title clearly says 5? Well, that’s the major part of their mission which I’ll try not to spoil. We’ve Paul (Delroy Lindo) who’s a kind of leader to rest of them, Otis (Clarke Peters) who comes across as a smarty pant, Eddie (Norm Lewis) is the ignored one and Melvin (Isiah Whitlock Jr.) is that friend who tries to be quirky and he is at times.
These four friends or ‘Bloods’ as they refer each other, are back in Vietnam on a quest of recovering a lost treasure worth of millions, which they had buried decades ago. Paul’s son David (Jonathan Majors) digs this secret mission from somewhere and joins them too. Tiên (Lê Y Lan), a dear friend of Paul, secretly hands him a gun before the 4 best friends step in the jungle to find the treasure. That’s the thought you need to hold to get curious about what happened next.
Da 5 Bloods Movie Review: Script Analysis
Spike Lee ended BlackKklansman with a high-voltage montage showcasing what’s wrong with the world at present, but here he starts the film with a similar montage but displaying how Black lives have been compromised since forever. That start helps to set the mood of the film which goes on till the end. BlackKklansman’s Kevin Willmott jumped in with Lee to rework on the original draft by Danny Bilson, Paul De Meo and I guess it was to make the film more socially relevant that it must have been.
Da 5 Bloods at over 150 minutes is one of the longest Spike Lee films after Malcolm X’s 200 minutes, and its greatness is not offering many dull moments. The length will pinch some but once you’re grappled by the narrative, it’s hard to come out. Lee makes sure that Newton Thomas Sigel zooms in his camera at perfect junctures to add the shock value in thrilling scenes. Please watch it without subtitles, because many-a-times the break i.e … of various dialogues hinted at some suddenly arriving shocks.
Da 5 Bloods Movie Review: Star Performance
Delroy Lindo as Paul gets the most meat to feast on from an ensemble cast of brilliant performers. He’s been gifted the most impactful scenes in the film and he makes sure to make the best of them. His monologue breaking the fourth wall evokes goosebumps and the writing of him being greatest of the lot is right there on the wall. Clarke Peters is perfect for Otis and handles the nuances of the character masterfully. Otis is subtle and not loud, Clarke manages to match the flawless writing.
Norm Lewis as Eddie hardly gets anything to be remembered for, apart from a dramatic finale. Even in that, he doesn’t have to do much. See it to know it. Isiah Whitlock Jr. as Melvin is quirky and manages to lighten the dark tone of the film at times. Jonathan Majors is outstanding as David. His character graph is as fluctuating as the twists in the film which does good for him as a performer. The almost unrecognizable Chadwick Boseman delivers almost unrecognizable performance. He shines bright in his extended special appearance as the story majorly revolves around his character.
Mélanie Thierry is cute & so is her sweet little performance as Hedy. Paul Walter Hauser as Simon is just there and so is Jasper Pääkkönen as Seppo. Lê Y Lan as Tiên shares an interesting sub-plot making her character important.
Da 5 Bloods Movie Review: Direction, Music
Well, certain subjects are meant for certain directors and Spike Lee is one such filmmaker who has never made a film just for the sake of filling his filmography. Be it Malcolm X or last year’s BlackKklansman and now this, he underlines the social issues in his films in bold. He goes a notch above with this one as far as the filmmaking is concerned. Smooth direction and shifting colour schemes help to grasp the non-linear storytelling.
Terence Blanchard splendidly gauges the mood of the film with his well-balanced music pieces. The dramatic high-tunes falls perfectly in place with the scenes. Usage of Marvin Gaye’s songs is a masterstroke served well. Especially, What’s Going On just escalates the watching experience to another level.
Da 5 Bloods Movie Review: The Last Word
All said and done, Da 5 Bloods is a Spike Lee joint that’s high on history and hysteria. It’ll not surely hint at what’s wrong with the society or you as a person, but it’ll surely question your thinking. A MUST WATCH!
Da 5 Bloods Trailer
Da 5 Bloods releases on 12th June 2020.
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