If you ever wanted a movie where you could see four legends get into verbal-philosophical conversation and give you an experience of a lifetime, then ‘One Night In Miami’ is made for you.
The premise of the movie is centered on the Feb.25, 1964 event at the Miami Beach Convention Center – the day Cassius Clay beat the world heavyweight champion Sonny Liston in a rough battle. To celebrate his victory, he went to the small suite, a motel restricted for Black celebrities, where his friends Malcolm X, Jim Brown and Sam Cooke waited.
Today, this union seems imaginary and fictitious but the truth is that these four individuals were in fact friends and spent the night after the grand victory of Cassius Clay. The movie is adapted from Kemp Powers’ 2013 stage play and its Regina King’s debut as a director. And it wouldn’t be wrong to claim that the movie has an outstanding opening sequence – you witness the outside scenery of the motel along with the match between Clay and Cooke and the vicious role that racism played out in that era.
Honestly, the fact that the movie has four legendary individuals spending time together in a small motel room, exchanging ideas and wits, is enough to make us watch it. This arrangement can never be considered bleak and unappealing. Thus, the setup and premise is cunningly devised and presented in the most delicious and authentic manner.
The movie is not appealing because we have four fantastical individuals sharing their worldviews and creative initiatives, the actual thrill is in the portrayal of the characters – how the humane side of the legends is shown because we witness how they think and feel about themselves and the world. Also, the director must be credited for showing a beautiful historical moment in such casual and breezy fashion. It represents simplicity and the actual depiction of life as it is.
In the movie, you will find the four legendary individuals teasing each other with humility and respect while having vanilla ice-cream. Actors Eli Goree (Cassius Clay), Kinglsey Ben-Adir (Malcolm X), Aldis Hodge (Jim Brown), and Leslie Odom Jr. (Sam Cooke) are stunning and impactful. All four of them have not just managed to dig deep into the psyche of each legend but also their mannerisms and expressions. Whether it is the understated tone of Clay’s voice or the wary force in which Hodge spoke, the actors have exceeded expectations.
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The legends we see on screen have been humanized as they shares their vulnerabilities with a hint of humor. You don’t find ego slipping through their sleeves as they remained grounded despite having earned so much success.
The underlying theme of this cleverly structured drama is “Black Power” and of course the director doesn’t shy away from admitting is. The movie is set at a time when the power dynamics were aggressively pushed and the consciousness was being challenged. Revolution was no longer just a dream but now a possibility.
However, this was also a time when several conflicts emerged from the bottom, like Clay was about to announced his intention to join Islam and become a Muslim. It was also a year before Malcolm got assassinated leaving the nation stunned. The pace of the movie is gradual and effective.
Are you excited to watch the Black Justice League of America? Contrary to popular belief, these beloved African American Icons represented the dreams and ideas of quartet of African-Americans. Hence, if you came here thinking we’d have opinion claiming the movie is far from the actual life of an average African-American, then you’ll be disappointed. These people grew up in the same neighborhoods and still made it big.
And let’s be honest, who doesn’t enjoy a true story depicted on screen? Let’s send our support to the Black American icons by watching One Night In Miami!
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