Judas and the Black Messiah

Judas and the Black Messiah ★★★★

“Judas and the Black Messiah” (2021), is an enthralling, devastating, and emotionally brutal biography that translates a crucial moment in black history to the screen in one of the most honest and respectful ways possible, and as the thrilling sophomore feature of filmmaker, Shaka King, what he crafts is something immeasurably powerful and everlasting as he broadcasts an enriching tale of one of American history’s most disastrous chronicles of both racial injustice and black empowerment, and on top of King’s incredible passionate observation towards both technical filmmaking and intricate storytelling, he truly brings the story of Fred Hampton’s legacy to life as he displays the formidably radical and progressive nature of the Black Panther Party in ways that feel genuinely compelling and thought provoking, plus therein lies more than just King’s fervent directing as both Daniel Kaluuya and LaKeith Stanfield command the screen with their exceptionally shattering performances wherein both men exhibit the most astounding chemistry as their feigned relationship transpires beautifully through their vicious talent and dedication, and at almost no point in the film did I ever see Kaluuya or Stanfield since both actors completely sink into their roles and let the fantastic script feed them insanely stimulating action and poignantly vigorous dialogue, and furthermore, this film demonstrates many astonishing technical feats where the production design as well as the cinematography feel incredibly fleshed out and keenly observed, and as many beautiful shot compositions portrait the immaculately recreated late 60’s setting through the use of convincing props and costume design, the impeccable lighting and camera movement provide opportunities for the film’s high-powered aesthetic and even for actor’s cripplingly mesmerizing performances to really shine brightly, however, this film’s unforgettably influential presentation is sometimes faltered by the very rare occurrences of minor plot convenience and superficial cheesiness, but nothing of that nature ever really finds its way into the limelight long enough to really bring down the masterful turbulence that this film provides, and when it comes to being educated on black history, this film offers a service that grade schools more than likely wouldn’t provide as it showcases one of the most disturbingly real looks at the struggle of civil rights and equality for people of color, and because of the phenomenal craft, prestige, and knowledge behind this film, not only is this piece one that I will remember for years to come, but it solidifies the inventiveness and aptitude of Shaka King as both a filmmaker and a storyteller, and I will surely check out whatever this innovator has in stores for us in the future.

8 out of 10

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