One Night In Miami
review by Bobby Blakey
Regina King has had an amazing career featuring so many great leading roles, awards and stepping behind the camera as director for various TV shows. Now she is stepping behind the camera once again this time for the feature film One Night In Miami… based on the award-winning play and stars Kingsley Ben-Adir, Eli Goree, Aldis Hodge, Leslie Odom Jr., Joaquina Kalukango, Nicolette Robinson with Beau Bridges and Lance Reddick.
One Night in Miami… follows a fictional account inspired by the historic night these four formidable figures spent together. It looks at the struggles these men faced and the vital role they each played in the civil rights movement and cultural upheaval of the 1960s. More than 40 years later, their conversations on racial injustice, religion, and personal responsibility still resonate.
This film is based on the stage play of the same name from Kemp Powers which is a fictionalized story of the real night these iconic figures met up. What happened during their time together isn’t publically known to my knowledge, so through this play and now feature film Powers brings his voice to what he believed could have happened leading to the events of the next morning. Knowing this will also help you understand and fully engage into this minimalistic locale that is used throughout. While you get to see musical performances, boxing matches and more, but all the lights and glory take a back seat to these four icons in a private hotel room just talking.
Like other films bringing stage performances to the big screen you can see how it transitions, but Regina King’s direction elevates visually to something that helps to make it as big as the men that it focuses on. King has already proven herself in front of the camera 100 times over and now she has done the same thing behind the camera. This is a story that is not only an interesting possible peek into a piece of history, but also still brings to light issues that are still sadly relevant today.
Everyone in the cast is superb. They all fully embody the icons they portray and make you believe they are who they are. In a normal performance you wouldn’t
think as much about that but these are not only famous people they were famous people with big personalities and voices like no other. Each actor gets their time to shine as their discussions dig deeper into their own stances on the ongoing fight of racial injustice and fame while never coming across preachy. Instead it makes you listen and think with varying stances and visions to how to do what they feel is important with all in the same direction for the cause.
I didn’t know what to expect or that it was based on a play going in, but even without that knowledge you can see it in there and that is a good thing. It brings an old school feel to it with this element that made me think of old Hollywood that fits with the time period it inhabits. Regina King has really brought not only a great film to the world, but an important one that needs to be seen and will no doubt be talked about for years to come.
Decide for yourself and check out One Night In Miami available now in select theaters and then on Amazon Prime video January 15th.