Based on the true story of Illinois Black Panther Party Chairman Fred Hampton and FBI informant William O’Neal, Judas and the Black Messiah (2021) is set in the late 1960’s civil rights era depicting the relationship and downfall of Hampton and O’Neal. Directed by Shaka King, the film stars Daniel Kaluuya as Fred Hampton, LaKeith Stanfield as William O’Neal, Dominique Fishback, Jesse Plemons, Ashton Sanders and Algee Smith to name a few. The made its premiere at the 2021 Sundance Film Festival and is now in theaters and streaming on HBO Max. YouTubers Tessa from the channel Mama’s Geeky, Leo from the channel Geekly Goods, and Perri Nemiroff share their thoughts on the historical drama.
This one is a winner from top to bottom. The cinematography and the editing work here managed to capture both the scope of the moment while also creating an intense sense of intimacy at just the right moments whether it’s the palpable spark between Fred and Deborah or even the chess like back and forth that happens between LaKeith Stanfield who plays FBI Informant William O’Neal.
Nemiroff is just blown away by the director’s storytelling and says the way the film is shot gives a sense of confidence in telling such an important story that is completely relevant to society today. She praises each scene between the characters as feeling very intimate and when collectively strung together, create an emotionally charged and powerful message.
One aspect of the film all the YouTubers can agree on is the performance from Daniel Kaluuya as Fred Hampton. Nemiroff even goes as far as to say Kaluuya’s performance is so natural as if he is just an extension of Fred Hampton. YouTuber Tessa finds his performance to fit in quite perfectly into the story.
Daniel Kaluuya plays Fred Hampton so perfectly. I can’t imagine that he doesn’t get an Oscar nomination and likely win the Oscar for this performance. He’s so incredible. Absolutely incredible. The power. The emotion that comes from him. There’s so many emotional scenes that he’s in and just every single one is delivered so perfectly.
He steals the show, says YouTuber Leo, who praises Kaluuya for his ability to transform into the charismatic and powerful leader.
Daniel Kaluuya. What a force to be reckoned with everybody. Now I loved him in Get Out and I thought that was one of his best roles, but honestly this is by far in my opinion his best to date … he puts so much into this performance you can tell he’s putting his all into it. He completely transforms for Fred Hampton and plays this charismatic, powerful leader who rallies more than just his team by his side.
The YouTuber is so impressed by his performance, it leaves him hanging on the edge of his seat for the majority of the film.
His performance, please give this man a nomination because this was fantastic you guys. Honestly, I could not stop thinking about it. I left this movie shook to my core with what I just watched. I love Kaluuya.
Ultimately, the film leaves Tessa emotionally charged. The cinematography and the film score does an excellent job in bringing out the visceral emotions and reactions to a story that is relevant over 50 years later.
The acting, the cinematography, the score. Oh my god the score. I feel like so many emotional scenes were heightened because of the score and there’s this moment at the end … that scene is going to stick with me for a very long time. That is the scene that had me crying. That is the scene that had me furious … I hate that so many of these things, the police brutality, the oppression, it’s all stuff that we’re still dealing with today.
A powerful depiction telling both sides of the story, according to Tessa who feels the relevance and importance of this historical event especially now in the current social climate. Nemiroff praises all of the performances in creating riveting and compelling moments in the story. YouTuber Leo agrees, the film is chronicled in a well-paced and well written format to bring to life the story of Fred Hampton.
YouTubers Tessa, Leo and Perri Nemiroff, rate and review new movies and TV shows on their channels regularly.