Listen for Malcolm X in the middle of the film (or is it Denzel Washington?). Black people who work for the white devil never get a fair share. They are only being bamboozled.
Fifteen films in fifteen years, Spike Lee had to get his hands dirty. That’s what the very bourgeois, very clean, very Boston accent Pierre Delacroix has to do to satisfy Dunwitty, the white boss who systematically refuses his black show proposals because the characters are « not Black enough. » Delacroix submits the most racist script he can summon: Mantan and Sleep-n-Eat (named after two talented Hollywood coons of the 1940s) are slaves who eat, sleep, steal chickens, sing and dance on an antebellum plantation. Dunwitty loves it; the show is a success.
Bamboozled is a self-defined satire. Who then are the characters portraying? Spike Lee came to New Line Cinema with many projects before his satiric minstrel show drama complete with tap-dance and Blackface was accepted. Pierre Delacroix came to Dunwitty with a lot of scripts before « Mantan-the New Millenium Minstrel Show » was accepted. Dunwitty loves Black people and their culture, and he loves to change black into green. He has $$ in his eyes and there will always be Black people to collaborate. He is despicable, but never considered responsible. Pierre Delacroix is the one who’s truly responsible. Hungry for success he sells out, apparently unaware that he is selling his soul.
But Spike Lee never sells his soul, on the contrary. Bamboozled pays homage to Black artists through the ages. So the images are a little jumpy, the editing somewhat sloppy and the end definitely messy, but Bamboozled will impress you with its intelligence and courage. The final montage of a century of Black images is in itself worth the price of the ticket.
With Damon Wayans (Pierre Delacroix), Savion Glover (Man Ray / Mantan), Tommy Davidson (Cheeba / Sleep-n-Eat), Jada Pinkett-Smith (Sloan Hopkins), Michael Rappaport (Dunwitty), Mos Def (Julius). Director of Photography: Ellen Kuras. Producer: Jon Kilik. A 40 Acres and a Mule / New Line Cinema Production.///Article N° : 5490