Da 5 Bloods is Spike Lee’s newest film and is a vital watch. It brings up issues of black soldiers in the Vietnam war and AFTER, something that is rarely explored. Themes like PTSD, Civil Rights, and War are explored through a modern lens and it is nothing short of wonderful.
The latest joint follows 4 Vietnam war veterans Paul (Delroy Lindo), Otis (Clarke Peters), Melvin (Isiah Whitlock Jr.), Eddie (Norm Lewis), and Paul’s son in 2020 who go back to Vietnam to retrieve gold and their late Commander’s remains. Delroy Lindo’s Paul is the sore thumb of the group; he voted for Trump, supports Make America Great Again, and suffers from PTSD. His tension lingers in the beginning and slowly builds as the story unfolds. Delroy Lindo’s acting is incredible, he plays a misunderstood character that lingers into antagonistic territory. His relationship with his son is strained and so is the one with his friends.
The story bounces between the present and the group in the Vietnam War. Spike creatively keeps the same cast in the flashbacks and Chadwick Boseman’s Stormin’ Norman joins them in the scenes from the war and his energy as the leader of the group is powerful. He has a great influence on the lives of his crew, even in death. He brings them together, always, and has a commanding screen presence.
What I admire most about Spike Lee is how creative he is with camera movement. We see his common Dutch angle shots and static shots of conversation between two individuals that he pulls off in all his movies.
And we cannot forget about the music. Spike’s use of Marvin Gaye’s What’s Going On proves that not only is it perfect for this story, but it’s also timeless. Seeing black men killed, black mothers crying, this is something still happening today. Da 5 Bloods does an excellent job interweaving the past and present. During the Vietnam War, only 11% of Americans were Black, but 34% of the men at war were Black. Let that sink in.
In all honesty, I loved this movie. I laughed, cried, and was shocked by what I saw. The movie is so phenomenal, that it’s hard for me to put into words what I watched. I encourage EVERYONE to go watch this movie.
Have you watch Da 5 Bloods? Let us know your thoughts in the comments!