Friday, January 1, 2021

One Night in Miami - 2 1/2 Stars - PRIME (January 15, 2021)

This really happened.  On the night of February 25, 1964, Malcolm X called Cassius Clay (later known as Malcolm X) to a meeting with Sam Cooke and Jim Brown to discuss their role in the civil rights struggle.  Directed by Regina King, the story opens with thumbnail sketches of the four icons.  A scene involving Jim Brown visiting his home town of St. Simons Island, Georgia teases us into a shocking example of the casual racism of the time. The meeting takes place as Malcolm X separates from the nation of Islam and Clay prepares to announces his conversation to the Muslim faith.  One Night in Miami sparks when he takes the characters outside the motel room meeting.  Inside the room, the talk sometimes weighs down the story, although important issues are at hand.  One Night in Miami posits an intriguing What If? as we don't really know what was said in the room.  The actors distinguish themselves, with Kingsley Ben-Adir as Malcolm X, Eli Goree as Cassius Clay, Aidis Hodge s Jim Brown nd Leslie Odom Jr. as Sam Cooke.  Those who know their history know Malcolm X will die, murdered the next year.  Others may not realize  Sam Cooke died under more mysterious circumstances in an L.A. motel at the end of 1964.