Judas and the Black Messiah Review: Here your next MUST WATCH
Judas and the Black Messiah is a film about the Black Panther Party and the FBI’s appalling tactics to bring them down. It stars Daniel Kaluuya, LaKeith Stanfield, and Dominique Fishback. Directed by Shaka King who also co-wrote the film with Will Berson.
Judas and the Black Messiah follows Daniel Kaluuya as Fred Hampton. Who is the chairman of the Illinois chapter of the Black Panther Party. When William O’Neal (played by LaKeith Stanfield) is convicted for a crime, he forgoes his prison sentence by agreeing to become an informant for the FBI. And help them take down Fred Hampton by working as a mole inside the organization.
This is such an important, timely, and topical film. That it should be on everyone’s radar. Judas and the Black Messiah is based on real events. And is, unfortunately, a story that is relevant even in our times. The entire setting of the movie captures the zeitgeist of modern-day US politics. As well as how it still has so many problems that it did back in the 1960-1970s. One of the main reasons Judas and the Black Messiah is a vital piece of entertainment is that it shines a light on a very important story. That has unfairly made to be forgotten and is tragically shunned by most history books.
We often see or hear the slogan “Black History is American History”, Judas and the Black Messiah is an example of historical events that everyone should know about.
This movie does an amazing job showing the complexities of that time period and somehow draws parallels to the present day. We live in a time when political movements are so grossly oversimplified by people on either side of the political spectrum, often trying to paint one side as the plain good and the other as plain bad. Judas and the Black Messiah actually shows audiences the multi-dimensional, nuanced aspects of the political state at that time.
The film is also commendable in its efforts to hold all parties accountable, even the one that it is based upon. But the accountability and fair criticism is explained in a way that makes audiences understand. That why some people, when treated like the way they are in the movie, would end up making the decisions that they do. As stated before, the film tries to cover a very difficult subject. But succeeds in doing so and really gives everyone a deeper understanding of some of the events that took place in that particular time period.
Another aspect in which this film excels is its “characters”. I use the quotation marks because these were real people and their lives. Fred Hampton was such a respectable and talented public figure that it is difficult to think of him as just any other protagonist in a movie.
I think it’s also worth mentioning that he was only 21 years old at the time during which this movie takes place. Only 21 years old! Clearly, he was talented far beyond his years. That is also why it is important for many young adults to watch this. The film also explores William O’Neal. And shows the audience the kind of world he lived in and how someone shapes up to be the kind of person that he was. Even though his character would be very easy to dislike, the movie makes the audience have a surprising amount of sympathy for him.
I think all the actors here give amazing performances in their roles. Daniel Kaluuya is already a very well-known actor who has gained a lot of popularity because of movies like “Get Out”. But LaKeith Stanfield is equally amazing as William O’Neal. I stated before about how the movie makes one feel sympathy for O’Neal’s character. Well, that’s largely thanks to LaKeith Stanfield’s performance. Dominique Fishback also delivers a few great moments. Especially towards the end of the movie. Where she brilliantly shows the audience the kind of pain and injustice that is enforced on her and the community. Warner Brothers is said to be pushing both Daniel Kaluuya and LaKieth Stanfield for this year’s Academy Awards in the respective acting categories. And both of them absolutely deserve it.
There were many videos a few months ago talking about certain movies and TV shows that everyone should watch in order to be an ally. And get more insight into the Black experience. Also, Further understanding the community and its struggle. Judas and the Black Messiah should be on the top of everyone’s list when it comes to such entertainment. This film is a must-watch for anyone trying to understand racial politics.
Acting – 4.5/5
Direction – 4.5/5
Background Score – 4/5
Overall Rating – 8/10
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