Watch Bamboozled

  • R
  • 2000
  • 2 hr 16 min
  • 6.7  (12,249)
  • 56

Bamboozled is a satirical drama film directed by Spike Lee and released in 2000. The movie examines the entertainment industry's portrayal of Black people and the inherent racism in the industry. Damon Wayans stars as Pierre Delacroix, a frustrated Black TV writer who creates a modern minstrel show to get back at his white boss for passing over his pitches.

The movie begins by introducing us to Pierre Delacroix, who works as a TV writer for a struggling network. Despite being an Ivy League graduate, he struggles to get his ideas heard and instead is asked to write more stereotypical comedy. His boss, Dunwitty (Michael Rapaport), is a clueless white man who wants to increase ratings at any cost. When Dunwitty rejects Delacroix's latest idea, he decides to create a modern-day minstrel show featuring two street performers - Manray (Savion Glover) and Womack (Tommy Davidson). They perform in blackface, tap dancing and singing as they embody the traditional stereotypes of Black people.

The show is an immediate hit, but Delacroix soon realizes that he's brought his own people down for the entertainment of white people. The film explores several themes that are still relevant today, such as Black identity and the media's representation of Black people. The movie also addresses the complexities of the entertainment industry, including the power dynamics between white executives and Black creatives.

What makes Bamboozled such a remarkable film is how it challenges the audience's expectation of what a movie should be. The film's structure is unconventional, with scenes shot in documentary style as we see the behind-the-scenes workings of the TV network. The movie is also self-aware, with characters directly addressing the camera and the audience. The film's humor is both disarming and biting, with the minstrel show scenes generating moments of uneasy laughter.

Delacroix's journey throughout the movie is also fascinating to watch. Initially, he's desperate to prove his worth to his white bosses, even if it means creating shows that perpetuate damaging stereotypes. However, he had to sacrifice his values and beliefs to do so, and the backlash from his community left him lost and alone. Damon Wayans gives an excellent performance, showcasing his range as an actor.

Savion Glover's performance as Manray is also worthy of recognition. Manray is a street performer who is initially hesitant to participate in the minstrel show, but he soon becomes enamored with the attention and adoration he receives. Glover's tap dancing is electrifying, and his facial expressions convey the character's gradual realization of the show's problematic nature.

Jada Pinkett Smith plays Delacroix's girlfriend, Sloan, who is also a TV executive. She serves as a voice of reason to Delacroix, warning him about the dangers of the minstrel show. She and Delacroix have opposing viewpoints, as she advocates for a more positive representation of Black people on television. Pinkett Smith's performance is understated but impactful, and she brings a strong, grounded presence to the movie.

The film also features several notable cameos, including Mos Def as a militant rapper and Tommy Davidson as Womack, Manray's partner in the minstrel show. Michael Rapaport gives a memorably clueless, almost cartoonish performance as Delacroix's boss, Dunwitty, who is blind to the show's harmful depiction of Black people.

In conclusion, Bamboozled is a daring, thought-provoking movie that challenges viewers to examine their own relationship with race and media. With its unconventional structure, biting humor, and powerful performances, the movie leaves a lasting impression on its audience long after the credits roll.

Bamboozled is a 2000 comedy with a runtime of 2 hours and 16 minutes. It has received moderate reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 6.7 and a MetaScore of 56.

Where to Watch Bamboozled
Bamboozled is available to watch, stream, download and buy on demand at Apple TV, Amazon, Google Play and Vudu. Some platforms allow you to rent Bamboozled for a limited time or purchase the movie and download it to your device.
  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    2 hr 16 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    6.7  (12,249)
  • Metascore