I was very interested in the discussion surrounding the “cycle” Bleek and Indigo found themselves buying into. It surprised me that a lot of people thought there was a lack of progress, and that they were simply falling into the same patterns and behavior Bleek’s parents had before him. It seemed to me the repetitive narrative at the end of the film actually pointed out the differences in the Bleek’s actions, as opposed to acting as a repeat of the opening scene.
In the opening scene of Bleek’s childhood, his mother is the dominant figure in the film, demanding he practice his scales and berating her husband for “spoiling him [Bleek] rotten”. She is a lot more aggressive and accusatory than Indigo is. Indigo seems to be a lot more supportive, her relationship with Bleek is much stronger and seems more like a partnership than Bleek’s parents’ relationship. While Bleek’s mom is forcing Bleek to continue his lesson, his father is in the adjacent room watching the baseball game, almost completely disconnected from the rest of the family until he comes into plead with Bleek to listen to his mother. Then, as quickly as he can he returns to his baseball game, all the while muttering in annoyance he had to miss part of it. In the final scene, Bleek and Indigo are giving the trumpet lesson together. Though Indigo does repeat the same interaction with her child’s friends outside on their front steps, she’s a lot friendlier and amicable. The biggest difference in this scene, besides the family dynamics and difference in tone from both Bleek and Indigo, is how Bleek allows his son to end his lesson short and join his friends outside. This for me signaled a key difference in the ideals of success and what Bleek was willing to sacrifice for it. While he was a young adult pursuing his career, he put his trumpet first and didn’t care who he cast aside for it.
Though the end scene was structurally identical to the opening scene, I would argue that it was far from stagnant, and in actuality showed a lot of progress in Bleek as a man, and their familial relationship as a whole.