We do what we feel
An immigrant police officer does his job as he thinks about his girlfriend, who is off camping with her possibly interested male roommate and has not been returning his messages.
That's pretty much the plot, which is really about all it needs. Our protagonist, Z, a West African muslim, provides his thoughts via voice over in his native tongue, as he perseveres diligently through his daily grind - all pulled from actual Seattle police reports. The incidents all subtlely reflects his mental state, with any overbearing finger pointing.
While not by any means a police procedural, much of the film is in that dry, workman tone familiar to viewers of the various Law and Order and CSI series. Z is hard-working, deadicated, and smart, mostly keeping his personal problems at bay in his duties. But we know how his mind is churning along, fearful of the outcome in his personal life. He imagines scenarios, thinks of things to say, and experiences a kind of insecurity seemingly completely out of sync of the competency he shows in his job.
The film is an emotional slice of life, something we can relate to on a very basic level. The content of the film is nothing new, but the presentation is fresh and vibrant, from the heart-felt voiceovers to the the lush - but overcast - Seattle landscape. Only when a couple political comments enter the film does anything feel forced - only slightly so, but often such sentiment shows through despite the most clever writing. Altogether, though, Police Beat is an excellent film - not one to rock your world, or even form a lasting impression, but one rooted in human nature that everyone should relate to.
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