_Bamboozled_, quite simply, achieves what it sets out to achieve. As I watched this film, I was made very uncomfortable (in fact, this point cannot be stressed enough). Spike Lee puts everything on the line, constructing a show around a desperate television writer who, in an attempt to lose his job, suggests that the network bring back a minstrel show. Unfortunately, the network and white America are all too ready to enjoy the stereotypes fed to them and the show becomes a huge success. The true shocker of the film is the realization that we are not far removed from the minstrel show (or, arguably, not removed at all). The most powerful sequence in the film for me is the section near the end where Lee has compiled a host of film and television sequences of African Americans "blacking up." This sequence, set to music, evokes emotions of sadness and disgust concerning racism like few films have before.
This film is a great statement and provides a different type of argumentation. If you can't argue with the ideas of racism by promoting positive images, go for the realm of satire and shove the racism in our faces. By doing so, our own ideas and images become absurd and much more-they become sickening. One cannot watch this film with an attentive mind and not feel sickened by the end of it. I can only fault it on a few points. First, the film feels far too long and loses steam in the middle. Fortunately, the ending of the film is quite gripping and brings it back on track. Secondly, I was not particularly impressed with Wayans's performance and would have liked to have seen a stronger actor in the role. Savion Glover, on the other hand, is quite good and his dancing is explosive and dynamic-truly the greatest tap dancer living today.
That being said, _Bamboozled_ is a film that will leave an impact on your imagination and deliver a lesson in U.S. history that will carry you forward into the present.