Bamboozled (2000) is a English movie. Spike Lee has directed this movie. Damon Wayans,Savion Glover,Jada Pinkett Smith,Michael Rapaport are the starring of this movie. It was released in 2000. Bamboozled (2000) is considered one of the best Comedy,Drama,Music movie in India and around the world.
Dark, biting satire of the television industry, focusing on an Ivy League educated black writer at a major network. Frustrated that his ideas for a "Cosby Show"-esque take on the black family have been rejected by network brass, he devises an outlandish scheme: reviving the minstrel show. This is the hook: Instead of white actors in black face, the show stars black actors in even blacker face. The show becomes an instant smash, but with the success also come repercussions for all involved.
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The film "Bamboozled" has caught a lot of heat for it's portrayal of blackface (an issue that wasn't really talked about until the release of "Bamboozled") Writer Pierre Delacroix (Damon Wayans) sees his pitches for TV shows being rejected one after another. He is upset with his job and his boss Thomas Dunwitty (Mike Rappaport) He is under contract, he cannot quit because he will be sued. So he decides to get himself fired. He plans on reviving blackface and hopes that it'll be so controversial that CNS will be under fire and he'll get fired. He recruits two street performers Manray (Savion Glover) and Womack (Tommy Davidson) and pitches the show to his boss. The show gets green lighted, but unfortunately it becomes a big hit and destroys his whole plan. Spike got some heat for this (mainly because he criticized previous films for the way blacks are shown, then he made a film with blackface) But what people don't understand is that this is a satire. The images of rappers and "Timmi Hillnigger" are all poking fun at today's society. "Bamboozled" is clever and one of Spike's most explosive films next to "Do the Right Thing" and "Malcolm X". This film has Tommy Davidson performing in blackface, in a very funny routine. I wanted to laugh but at the same time it made me think. This sketch was making me laugh at every stereotype about my people that I hated. That was the smart thing about "Bamboozled", it caught you in the act of doing something and made you think. "Bamboozled" is a well thought, mentally challenging film that'll change your life. Bamboozled- rated R **** out of ****
I approached this film with trepidation due to the mixed reviews(in particular, the flat-out negative review of Ebert at the Movies). Knowing Lee's penchant for controversy, but knowing also his unflinching honesty and passion about his position, I decided to give this film a chance. I consider myself an educated, articulate, middle-class black-american. And I was wary of Lee's supposed satire which centers on the creation of Minstrel show for the new millenium. By the time I credits rolled, I was applauding. In this film, Lee takes no prisoners, he neither excuses the white establishment for its entrenched and hard-to-expose racism nor does he excuse the blacks and other non-whites who become the literal agents of this process. This story of two young black men's rise to financial and commercial glory through demeaning themselves, their talent and by example the group of people from which they hail, is an allegory. Rather than getting stuck in a discussion of this film's form, viewers should consider what it means about the world around them. The disturbing and unnerving finale, is a suitable response to our rising awareness of inner-city violence, hip-hop culture, the prison industrial complex, and the police state in which many blacks, poor or not, find themselves a part. Instead of offering us solutions this film offers us, as in many other of Lee's films, a wake up call. As in the body of Lee's work, the camera work gives a gritty cinema verite feel to the scenes, and the performances of Glover, Davidson, Pinkett, Wayans, and Rappaport are dead-on. The cast has a good chemistry and the dialogue will have have you howling with disbelief and laughter. An incredibly important film, for any consumer, and by definition, any creator of popular culture who may be responsible for the perpetuation and dissemination of DAMAGING and DEGRADING stereotypes. Thank you, Mr. Lee.
For the most part, Spike Lee is an angry filmmaker and I cannot blame his anger nor do I criticize it. With films such as Do the Right Thing and Jungle Fever, he shows his passion and understanding of situations such as racial feelings between all races, not just whites and blacks as well as how outsiders view interracial relationships. Here, his target is the entertainment industry, specifically television and he cuts right to the core because he knows how important and complex this issue is and wastes no time of this 135-minute film to stuff every frame and scene with a message and relating what he has seen in this country and how he feels about it. First off, the acting is near flawless. Damon Wayans gives his best performance ever as Pierre Delacroix, a successful producer upset that he is not considered black with his fancy dress and white accent. Determined to make his case, he decides to create a minstrel show very much in the vein of those from the 1930s and 40s. However, he goes one step further and hires black actors to use blackface makeup as well as make the subject and setting the most politically incorrect setups imaginable. What he doesn't expect is the overwhelming popularity of the show complete with huge ratings and numerous critical awards. For my money, Lee almost had a great film here. The first hour is terrific, biting satire, attacking everything and anything. Lee takes no prisoners and also gives some very interesting bits about how a TV show is brought to life. But, once the show becomes a success and the people involved develop consciences, Lee's vision narrows and soon it becomes more of the angry and socially-aware Spike Lee we've seen in much better films. Being white myself, I never liked how Lee seemed to portray whites as leering fools and the true ignorant people of America as opposed to the "more commonly accepted" view of blacks. Still, his feelings were justified in Do the Right Thing, Jungle Fever and earlier works. Bamboozled tries too hard and loses its mission towards the end. The end is in fact a rehash of many other movies seen before, even ones self-consciously referred to here such as Network and The Producers. Spike Lee is a gifted and fearless director and I cannot say this is a boring or uninspiring film. I was held captive every step of the way. I just wish he had picked a better and more effective way to satirize his subjects, as well as maybe broaden the horizons; only then could it really take root.
This is Lee's best film. It isn't heavy handed despite the explosive topic. In fact I would argue that the images in this film are less offensive then some of the depiction of African-American life seen on MTV or BET. Less heavy handed then some of the vulgar depiction of my community that is allowed to be foisted on my community as entertainment. The modern minstrels show can be seen any night of the week on America's cable music networks. Which is more embarrassing Lil'John, 50 cent or Mantan? Which has had a bigger impact on the daily lives of African-American children, images of Step- N-Fetch it or Lil'John? Which are the stereotypes that are used to justify racial profiling in the larger public of the country in 2006, Gangstas or minstrels performers? It is a film about the power and responsibility of black America to control the images that define it. I think Lee for the first time in a long time had a story he actually wanted to tell. The script was solid if not great. As usual Spike had a tough time with his female characters. The women in his films tend to be two dimensional. All good or all bad. It wasn't a perfect film but I think it will be remembered as one of Spike's most interesting.
I am absolutely embarrassed right now that I have never watched a Spike Lee film before. I have always wanted to see Do the Right Thing, which is generally considered his best film, and I even rented it once, but never got around to watching it. When Bamboozled opened last year, it sounded very interesting, but after the critics dismissed it as a failed attempt at satire, I decided to catch it later on, perhaps after I saw Do the Right Thing. Then I saw it was going to be played on television, so I found the time and sat down to watch. What I saw was something absolutely amazing. And that's not to say that Bamboozled doesn't have its flaws. I would personally deem it a flawed masterpiece, a very flawed masterpiece. The critics were right: Lee's satire is misplaced. He's far too hotheaded an artist to have realized this immediately, but he should have when the New York Times refused to run the movie's add, which depicted a sambo character eating a watermelon, because they feared protests. Bamboozled asks us to suspend our disbelief - a disbelief which Spike Lee may not have had himself - and accept that a TV network would produce the New Millennium Minstrel Show and that the public, a la Mel Brooks' The Producers, would eat it up. Lee's argument in the press is that this was already happening. His targets were rap videos and a show on the WB network that only produced something like 6 episodes (the show was about Abe Lincoln's black servant who single-handedly ran the country; Lincoln was the buffoon). The reason that the New York Times didn't run Lee's add is the exact same reason Lee wrote the film in the first place: African American political activists, including Lee, often have very knee-jerk reactions to such things. The show about Lincoln, which Lee argued was set during the "holocaust" of his people, actually showed the white people to be the buffoons and the blacks to be their manipulators. He missed the point (which could very well have been due to the fact that the show sucked anyhow). Add to this the fact that, besides clips of Good Times and The Jeffersons, both of which, I ought to add (in my own opinion), Lee is taking out of context (he would have been much better off to feature Diff'rent Strokes, which is somewhat offensive), all of the clips he uses to demonstrate the abuse of his race must have been downright difficult to dig out of film archives. None of these cartoons or movies that are shown, nor most of the sambo toys, have been seen for some thirty years or more, most probably not since before Spike Lee was born. We all know they exist, and, as Sloan (Jada Pinkett Smith) says in the film, we oughtn't to forget whether we're black or white, but it doesn't work as satire to show these things. They aren't at all harmful now, not until you drag them up again. Then they're only offensive when knees start jerking. None of this matters, in fact. Not to me, anyway. In my opinion, film today has become far too complacent. Bamboozled is an enormous jolt to our current, apathetic world. The fight may be misdirected and wholly fabricated by a paranoid man, but Spike Lee is indeed a masterful director. In fact, I would very favorably compare this film to Jean-Luc Godard's Le Week-End, which was also somewhat misdirected in its satire. Both of these films are excellent. Bamboozled moves with a speed and passion almost completely foreign to the world of filmmaking today. It's angry, it's brazen, and it makes your heart pound with fear, sadness, and intensity. It also raises more difficult issues than any film I've seen in a very long time. It manages to do this while remaining funny, too, although I was always wondering whether Spike Lee would slap me for laughing at this stuff. I especially loved the Tommi Hilnigger Jeans commercial. But even the New Millennium Minstrel Show is presented in a humorous way. A lesser artist, I believe, would have made it more clearly offensive. As it stands, it's difficult not to laugh at Mantan and Sleep-N-Eat (probably the most jaw-droppingly funny and ballsy name I've ever heard) as they perform. Tommy Davidson and Crispin Glover put enough energy in these stage performances to electrocute you. Their performances are awesome - often the dialogue they do have is cliched, but in many small moments their faces clearly express, and subtly, too, how their lives are crumbling. I would also like to compliment Jada Pinkett Smith, who turns in the film's finest performance. I have a feeling she's just going to get better and better, if someone would give her another decent role. Michael Rapaport, although perhaps a little too cartoony, is still very funny. Damon Wayans has the most difficult part. I'll bet money that he and Lee KNEW that the critics would immediately jump on Wayans' fake white accent. I can't imagine they thought it was all that funny or believable. However, I'm not sure why they did it. It does detract a little from the film, though not as much as many critics claimed it does. Personally, I would have either had that accent fade as the film went on. It sounds especially bad when it comes back at the end, after all those powerful (if pointless) scenes of African Americans in the cinema. Although, as that very phony voice is brought back, we recall the way the film began... Other aspects of the filmmaking are excellent as well. I have already praised Lee's direction. It is quickly paced and he really knows how to move his camera. The editing is fantastic. A powerful rhythm is established right away and never abandoned. In fact, the film pulls a daring change from satire to melodrama about halfway through, another aspect of the film that people complained on end about. It is all done with gusto, especially in the editing. The cinematography - wow! This and Lars von Trier's Dancer in the Dark show how worthwhile digital video is. Lee and his DP use it to an amazing degree! When characters are moving fast, which happens most often when Mantan is tap-dancing, a blur is left on the screen for a split second. Late in the film, when Mantan is trying to free himself from the show, Lee causes these blurs to remain onscreen for a prolonged period of time. The effect is simply powerful. One major complaint I have is the score. It's often manipulative. I think it would have been better to have had a minimalist score, which would have made the film seem even more immediate. Like I said, there are many major and legitimate complaints against Bamboozled, but critics and audiences forgot what's going for it: it is EXCELLENT CINEMA. 9/10.