From “Beasts of No Nation” to “The 13 th”, Netflix continues to bring viewers content that is controversial, and filled with substance and meaning. The next movie scheduled to join the ranks is “Rodney King”. It follows the life of Rodney King, a black taxi driver who was beaten by LAPD officers in the 1990’s. It is a one-man show created by Guenveur Smith and filmed by Spike Lee, due to be released April 28 th .
The trailer, recently released on Netfix, follows important scenes from the actual event. The trailer begins when an LAPD officer pulls King over and says, “Let’s get it.” The officer begins to beat King savagely. While trying to recover, many people reassure King that he will get justice because the abuse was caught on tape. However, the LAPD officer, Stacey Koon, was acquitted and walked free. The public response to King’s beating led from riots to break out in Los Angeles over a span of three days. These riots left many injured and dead. The trailer ends with King’s famous plea for everyone to get along.
As the person recounting King’s story, Guenveur Smith’s spoken word is everything. It is funny, sarcastic, and uncensored. Being filmed as a one-man show forces the viewer to look and take in every facial expression and body movement he is giving. All of this emphasizes the description of the night King was beaten. Smith recounts the LAPD officer assuming King knew “what to do” when being pulled over, because he is a black man. He discusses how King, asking the riots to end, was an attempt to be remembered as a solution rather than a problem.
His performance is enhanced with the help of Spike Lee’s directing. The background lights up complimenting the events and tone of the performance. The use of cut-aways and slow motion add to the overall drama of the situation 90s. The filming of police brutality is crucial because police brutality has always been around, but it was never documented or shown. The meticulous directing of Lee and the spoken word of Smith are paired well with Netflix. They scheduled the release of the movie,April 28th, commemorates the 25th anniversary of the LAPD officer’s acquittal.
Ultimately, “Rodney King” is another Netflix original that will stir conversation on social media and the news. It also serves as a reminder to never forget important events that are repeated throughout history.