Imagine if you will, four of the great minds of their time congregating in one hotel room shortly after one of them accomplished a feat that caught the country’s attention.
That’s the premise of <em>One Night in Miami.</em> You’ll know the names on the screen in this riveting feature, the first directing effort from popular actress Regina King. The screenplay by Kemp Powers comes from the state play he originally wrote in 2913,
<em>One Night in Miami</em> takes place the evening of Feb. 25, 1964, the day in history when the boxer named Cassius Clay defeated Sonny Liston in the southern American city to win the heavyweight title of the world.
Afterward, coming together in the hotel room rented by Malcolm X come Clay, singer Sam Cooke and football star Jim Brown.
This is said to have really happened.
The movie puts together an unforgettable tale of tension, friendship, joy and angst. The four men individually and collectively deal with the arc of their stardom, weight of their responsibilities in the social revolution for Black justice and stamp of hatred that lingers around every corner.
The time was fraught with hope and hopelessness then, and the actors who play these American icons have it down.
To watch Kingsley Ben -Adir as Malcolm X, Eli Goree as Cassius Clay, Leslie Odom Jr. as Sam Cooke and Aldis Hodge as Jim Brown interact is a thing of beauty. They know the importance of then and now, the significance of inspecting how Black Lives mattered to these figures of that time and to all of us in this tumultuous present.
Bravo, I thought and thought and thought, having admired the men for so much of my life and now seeing even more.