Dear White People is a new satire that takes a look at race relations at a fictional Ivy League college.
There was a whole other thing I wrote, classifying each of the four characters into archetypes, but given the theme of the film, that seemed to miss the point a little bit, so let us continue.
The film is well done. Entertaining. Thought provoking. Other positive things.
Tyler James Williams is really the heart of the cast, he does not-fitting-in pretty well. Tessa Thompson is also very good as the radio host torn between two worlds. The rest of the cast is great if not slightly unknown, save for Dennis Haysbert as the dean of students, and Kyle Gallner as the head of one of the more notorious houses on campus.
The fact that this is a film about race is probably why this review is so eggshell avoiding. While I know that Rerun can dance, that Mookie’s gotta get paid, and that Denise Huxtable can’t sew, I can’t speak intelligently about the black experience because all I really have to go on is my DVD collection. I can only judge this film on the scale of other films about race on campus, or really other films about race in general. With that caveat in mind…
I really loved this movie, it’s genuinely funny, well shot, well acted. The film understands the carrot and stick of making a movie with larger social connotations. Spoonful of sugar or whatever.
I have read several reviews comparing the work of the filmmaker, Justin Simien, to that of Spike Lee. While I can see a level of comparison, both are black directors dealing with race on film, that’s where the similarities end for me.
Don’t get me wrong, I love Spike Lee. But what Simien brings to the discussion is a softer touch, and some comedy. Spike rarely makes me laugh.
Highly recommended for people who like a bit of social commentary between chuckles. – [DVD] [Blu-Ray]
DVD Release Date: 2/3/15