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Spike Lee’s Da 5 Bloods appears to be having a major effect on viewers, as many have formed personal connections with the critically acclaimed film. One character that’s really left a mark on audiences is the frustrated and emotionally scarred Paul, who was played beautifully by Delroy Lindo. The veteran actor steals more than a few scenes throughout the movie, but he says its Paul’s monologue in the jungle that has really grabbed people’s attention:
Somebody sent me an email, and he said, ‘Man, I love that monologue when you were going on that rant in the jungle.’ The audience completely has the right to define it as a rant. For me, it is not a rant. For me, I’m speaking my truth in order to get to a place of clarification.
The scene plays out bittersweet way, as it allows Paul to vent his frustrations with his current situation and confront his demons in the process. Delroy Lindo went on to explain to HuffPost that there’s a complexity to monologues. While in many cases, characters are reciting the words alone, they’re not exactly just posing their thoughts to themselves:
There’s this technical aspect of reciting a monologue in Shakespeare or August Wilson or any of the big plays. When you’re reciting a monologue that’s being said either out to the audience or when one is speaking to oneself, you are, in my opinion — this was said to me years ago in acting class somewhere — speaking to the person who you think has the answer. I’m not going to say that I made the camera an actual person, but in the process of speaking into that camera, I have to humanize that lens and imagine that I’m speaking to people that I want to communicate with.
Delroy Lindo raises an interesting point about monologues, as many of them do involve a character posing questions. Paul’s “Salt in the Vaseline” monologue in Da 5 Bloods is distinct in the fact that the character holds his focus on the camera the entire time. And based on his constant questions and anxious attitude, the scene can definitely be read as Paul desperately seeking out answers from someone.
However you want to interpret the scene, it can definitely be said that Delroy Lindo nailed it. Those who’ve seen Da 5 Bloods know that Paul could have been a one-note character in the wrong hands, but both Lindo and Spike Lee strayed away from this and turned him into a fleshed-out character. With this, it’s no wonder the internet is already calling for Lindo to get some major recognition when awards season arrives.
Regardless of how much buzz Lindo receives, Da 5 Bloods marks another powerful performance from him, and it’s sure to sit with audiences for years to come.
Spike Lee’s Da 5 Bloods is currently streaming on Netflix.