Judas and the Black Messiah

Judas and the Black Messiah ★★★★

84/100

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JUDAS AND BLACK MESSIAH presents a story about revolution, a story about revolutionaries with a revolutionary performance from Daniel Kaluuya as Fred Hampton, a true leader of a Black power organisation party(Illinois Black Panther party) in late 60's who stood against whites' racial oppression on Blacks through out so many years. And it's really very appreciable that how directior King takes a very very important portion of blacks' revolution from history which has been remained hidden or doesn't get complete attention from viewers through out the globe due to less appealing outputs which had been made in previous years. JBM has lots of positiveness in it as well as it also has the every single thing by which it may have been win multiple Oscars.. specially I wish Daniel Kaluuya must win a Oscar for his electrifying acting which is felt no longer acting anymore, it's called perfection. But for to me King's 2nd feature film offcourse has a fascinating story that can have potential to be best of this year , but it has some script problems in it's writting..that makes it's level little lower in my eye:(


Film is all about a revolutionary, Fred Hampton who has been named as BLACK MESSIAH exactly 20 months after the last Black Messiah, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., was killed. But it's not jzt about how black people as well as other oppressed people reunites against police brutality and other racial oppressions against them under common leadership of a leader but it is also weighed by it's emotional punches which make u feel like u are present there in 60's era as a comrade in Hampton's headquarter. But it's not just a story of how a revolution spreads through out the peoples' wills and it's not jzt a story about focusing only Hampton but JBM is also a showcase of uncompromising tragedy of fear and power and yes it has another protagonist i.e Billie O’Neal, biblically referenced with JUDAS in film's title (who betrayed Jesus) is a FBI informant who also betrays the faith of Hampton and plays an important role for assassination of Fred in 1969 by a cook county tactical unit on the orders of the FBI and Chicago Police Department. Now that is the precise gist of this 120 minutes long film's story. In previous year Steve McQueen's Small axe series jzt rocked the floor..may be one of the best thing that I had experienced in 2020 that's also about Black people in Britain. I would specially wanna mention MANGROVE here..that film is fantabulas really in stylistic way expresses the innermost hatred of black people against racial prejudice by taking true story of Mangrove 9 in centre. Now that's the different thing how McQueen treated his characters in that film..all 9 leaders had equal opportunity to say their own thoughts, expressed their individual's feelings. Now I don't intend to compare these two films by any means but i would like to compare how these two different directors treat their lead characters in their respective films. Whereas McQueen's film is clearly successful to make an equilibrium conditions between his characters there King need I think a little bit more aware what he has intended to do with his story and with his characters.


Now I don't say that his direction isn't quite effective, actually he is amazing..I have no issue regarding his direction..yeh that's solid. But main problem is in screenplay what he had written with Will Beerson. It's story about two people, so it's obvious that both of them needs to be presented in equal depth and equal intensity. But here where Kaluuya as Hampton is beyond perfect there Lakeith Stanfield as O'Neele felt a little cold to me. I desperately wanted to discover or to see a little more inner feelings from Billie's character except those close ups and a stupid dream sequence. But yes Lakeith is also amazing in the film as Billie but I think his character needs more better attentions from writer duo. Beside this only issue I love literally everything in this film. Though much of the role languishes in one-note scenes between O'Neele and the FBI agent Roy Mitchell (Jesse Plemons) who’s holding jail time over his head. In the recreation that opens the film, O’Neal appears in the PBS documentary, EYES ON THE PRIZE 2 saying he trusted Mitchell and even saw him as a figure to emulate. Little of that comes through in the scenes between Plemons and Stanfield, though there are moments where it appears the film may deepen this fraught relationship. A scene where Mitchell invites O’Neal to his home and offers him the good Scotch is rife with potential for examining how an act of implied White civility could engender trust; instead the scene ends with some clunky dialogue about money. So this film also another theme in it's plot i.e how FBI manipulates people against their own community people. But here I feel that this aspect needs also some more time to enhance properly..the fraught relationship that has developed between Roy and Billy is like suppressed..doesn't fully discover the process of manipulating in that much depth..but I personally hasn't any problem for that.


There are two groups in the field..one FBIs and other is BLACK PANTHER PARTY. We spend too much time within the FBI and it needs really much time for discovering the mentality of people inside police authority. Despite the excellent cinematography by Sean Bobbitt and the editing by Kristan Sprague, these sequences are not as interesting as anything featuring the Black Panthers and their goals. the most impactful scene I remember and may be remembered for rest of my life is comeback speech of Fred infront of crowds. That riveting scene has everything in it....heart appealing dialogues, extraordinary performances by Lakieth and specially Kaluuya, the perfect background score, crowd praising their leader...among all of these Roy Mitchell from FBI presents and starring creepily towards his informant, Billie who on that moment praising and shouting for Fred...that scene is jzt blust. I’ve seen those FBI plotlines done better in a million other movies, but this film really soars when we’re with the Black Panthers. And it’s not just Kaluuya’s excellent work, it’s also Dominique Fishback as his girlfriend, Deborah Johnson. Their flirty back-and-forth results in a believable romance, made all the more bittersweet by our knowledge of how it will end. Fishback is so amazing in her role, especially in two scenes..first one where she expressed her inner feelings of being mother through a poem in a situation of violence like this...and 2nd one is the last harrowingly heartbreaking final scene, that you wish she had more screen time. King also excels at depicting harrowing scenes of violence. A subplot involving a character described as “a square” ultimately breaking down and resorting to a vengeful shoot-out with the cops is notable both for how unflinching it is and for a scene where the man’s mother laments that this will be his legacy. These and other brutal scenes foreshadow the Panthers’ final confrontation with a law enforcement department that was clearly breaking the law.


Lastly undoubtedly JBM is not a perfect film, but yes it's a near perfect and definitely be remembered for a long time specially for breathe taking steller performances from two of it's lead actors. Fread Hampton was a true leader...it's certainly awful that such great figure like him had died only at 21 years' age...but as he said in his comeback speech...

A REVOLUTIONARY CAN BE KILLED, BUT A REVOLUTION CANNOT BE.

There lies his success!!! He ignites the flame in between the people of his community for gaining freedom..he starts the revolution that cannot be killed...lots of respect for him!
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🔙Sator(2021)...

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