Directed by Regina King
Starring Kingsley Ben-Adir, Eli Goree, Aldis Hodge, and Leslie Odom Jr.
I have always been intrigued and fascinated with the events of the 1960s. From the music and artist like The Beatles to figures like Malcolm X and Martin Luther King. This film a fictional look at a night where 4 important figures of the times met for one night.
The movie takes place on the 25 of February of 1964 when Cassius Clay fights for a title against Sonny Liston. Jim Brown is a successful football player who is in the arena as a broadcaster. Malcolm X and Sam Cooke are in the audience. After Cassius wins the bout the four men are invited to Malcolm X’s hotel room to celebrate Clay’s win. The night turns from celebration to the four men discussing the real battle they were facing.
After films like Lockdown and Malcolm and Marie, this movie achieves what the latter could not in my opinion. The film is almost entirely in the same room but the dialogue is intriguing and interesting as we imagine what could have they talked about on that night when they met together in that room. I found that the meeting did happen, so this is a fictionalized account of the evening. Using where they were then, Malcolm X about to leave the nation, Clay about to go in, Brown about to leave football, and Cooke as an important voice. I like when seeing movies based on true event try to look for actual interviews and found that a scene where Malcolm used BOB DYLAN as an example for Cooke for the songs he could write, I found an interview where his song A change is gonna come was inspired on “Blowin in the wind”. I liked the movie a lot and found the telling of the story to be on point and well written and directed.
This kind of film depends so much on the performances because it does not have changes of sceneries or effects, are all on the actors and man these guys were great. Ben-Adir played Malcolm X so well, from the body movement to the facial expressions. Goree as Cassius was also a very good performance. The four main actors were great.
The song A Change gonna come used at the end sent me shivers special knowing the fate of Malcolm and the different roads the three men took. Sad to learn that Sam Cooke also died a year before Malcolm, and sadder to see the racism is still an issue to this day. Great film.