Movie Review – One Night In Miami – A deeply thought-provoking Cinema, worth a watch!
My Rating – 4 out of 5
Plot Summary – One Night In Miami
I’ll start off with a deep bow to Ms. Regina King for this wonderful movie which is so much about human characteristics and nuances that despite a mundane event being the crux of this movie, it makes for such a compelling watch. The four main protagonists have done a stellar job too, which elevates this one to a higher level. Ok, fawning over, let’s talk about what this is all about. This is about one night in Miami Beach, Florida when four African American legends get together to celebrate – which is the fact – the conversations they have, are not documented, so that part is fiction.
The night in question is February 25, 1964 – the evening of the first bout between Sonny Liston and Cassius Clay (later to be known Muhammad Ali), which Clay (played by Eli Goree) won, along with the World Heavyweight Boxing Champion title. He gets together with his three good friends Jim Brown (Aldis Hodge) – the NFL Star, Sam Cooke (Leslie Odom Jr.) the Singing prodigy, and Malcolm X (Kingsley Ben-Adir) – the Civil Rights Movement heavyweight, to celebrate the famous win, generally to party. Conversations between four men over the span of one night is not expected to be a riveting story, but here it is, and overwhelmingly so!
Sam Cooke: Everybody talks about wantin’ a piece of the pie, well I don’t. I want the goddamn recipe!From One Night In Miami
What ensues during the conversation between the four friends, transcends the ordinary into the phenomenal, mainly due to the brilliant performances of the four main characters. This was at the height of the Civil Rights Movement, where these four men of color were celebrities, wielding their own brand of influence over the common people. However, their approaches towards that movement could hardly be more different from each other. Cooke and Ali, jovial and cheery, Malcolm X the ever serious thinker, with Jim Brown, the quiet but charismatic team man.
Once the back and forth starts, its drama at its pivotal best, with each man driving his agenda before the others without forgetting that their collective marks on the people who idolize them, can be such a significant game-changer for the movement. Without giving away any further details, the seminal dialogue between Malcolm X and Sam Cooke, when each question the other’s motives, being edge-of-the-seat exciting! The brilliance of the entire conversation is that both of them are correct, and both of them are wrong – in some contexts! For a movie whose central theme is a conversation between four grown men, Ms. King has done a fabulous job to make it so interesting!!
Conclusion – Movie Review of One Night In Miami
Remember, this was the time of Segregation when a dog had more rights than a man of color. In one telling scene, a jovial neighbor of Jim Brown tells him how proud he is for belonging to the same town as the NFL Hall-of-Famer, and at the next moment stops him from entering his house, because he’s ‘never had a ni…er inside the big house’… Though a lot has changed since those days, a lot still remains the same, bigotry can be hidden not be totally eliminated.
As I started by saying, this is already the movie to watch for the month of January, and who knows it may jolly well be the movie of 2021. All the cast members have done a fantastic job and so Regina King. This is like the aftertaste of very good coffee or a rare vintage wine, much after it is over, the effect lingers and makes you want to go back and watch it again! One Night in Miami is truly memorable.