Victoria and Abdul

(2017)

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Title:
Victoria and Abdul
Release Date:
14th September 2017
Runtime:
112 min
MPAA Rating:
PG-13
Genres:
Directors:
Stephen Frears
Writers:
Lee Hall, Shrabani Basu
Languages:
English
Stream Quality:
1080p / 720p / 480p

Storyline

Queen Victoria strikes up an unlikely friendship with a young Indian clerk named Abdul Karim.

Ratings

Rotten Tomatoes Critics - Certified Fresh 67%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience 70%
IMDb Rating 6.8

Casts

Adeel Akhtar as Mohammed
Ali Fazal as Abdul Karim
Eddie Izzard as Bertie, Prince of Wales
Judi Dench as Queen Victoria
Tim Pigott-Smith as Sir Henry Ponsonby

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by brankovranjkovic 25th September, 2017

Victoria and Abdul: Grey Audience Special

BBC Films. Based on a true story (mostly). This is a film about the controversial friendship between Queen Victoria and a Muslim 'coin carrier' Abdul. Abdul is awarded the role of presenting the coin at a Royal banquet simply because he is tall, a friendship develops and he is promoted very quickly within the household and much to the annoyance of the other staff. This is Britain doing what it does best, great performances, great costumes, and great cinematography. Judy Dench is amazing as always. I was not expecting much humour, but this film so funny in places, particularly during the first hour. The downside is the politics at the time, which can obviously linked to current political affairs, especially Brexit, the BBC can be so left wing!

Reviewed by Kingslaay 23rd September, 2017

Great film and story

Victoria and Abdul was a truly enjoyable film. It is a story about the friendship between a monarch in her final days who outlived many dear ones and a genuine and religious soul who relished in her company. A simpleton who wished to serve and is full of life won the favor of the celebrated monarch who saw his true intentions and valued his heartfelt wishes. The bond has to be one of the most unusual as well as greatest friendships in history. The film is a treat to watch and showcases some great performances from the cast, especially the two leads. At the same time it is a window into an interesting and rich part of history. It shed light on events that were unknown till 2010 and quite fascinating to learn and watch. The soft and innocent friendship was enjoyable to watch from the dance scene to the walk shared in Florence. The film also had nice doses of humor hear and there to liven the film up. It was the meeting of two different worlds, on one side an aged ruler and on the other a low level simpleton who connected on a humane level. For a brief moment the queen and the audience forgot about Imperialism and colonisation. The end resembled a tragedy with the Queen dying and Abdul Karim being thrown out of England. The end with Abdul paying respects to his queen close to the Taj Mahal that he passionately told her about was a nice touch to end such a good film. 8/10

Reviewed by ruthszulc 18th September, 2017

Judi does it again

What an amazing movie, Judi is as usual, such a wonderful actress portraying Queen Victoria once again. The story line is fantastic and it flows beautifully. This would have to be the best film for me this year. I love how they made this film so funny, and yet so touching. I laughed and I cried all the way through.

Reviewed by bob-the-movie-man 17th September, 2017

As we crawl out of the (largely disappointing) summer movie season, the first of the serious award-contenders hoves into view. Victoria and Abdul tells the untold story of a hushed-up relationship between an aged Queen Victoria (Judi Dench, "Philomina", "Spectre") and her Indian servant, Abdul Kareem (Ali Fazal). Kareem is shipped to England from Agra to deliver a ceremonial coin to the Queen on the occasion of her Diamond Jubilee, together with a grumbling 'stand-in tall guy' Mohammed (Adeel Akhtar, "The Big Sick", "Four Lions"). Kareem finds the Queen as sour, depressed and acidic as her post-Albert reputation would have you imagine. But something clicks between the two, and pretty soon the perked-up queen is learning Urdu and all about the Koran, much to the horror of her successor Teddy, the Prince of Wales (a splendid Eddie Izzard, "Oceans 13") and the rest of the royal household, who try desperate measures to derail the relationship. This film is a complete delight. I went along without great expectations.... a worthy film I thought I should go and see to write a worthy review about. But I was entranced from beginning to end. It's probably best described as a comedy drama... always a difficult trick for a movie-maker to pull off. But here in the competent hands of director Stephen Frears ("Florence Foster Jenkins") the comedy is both very, VERY funny, with the drama also being extremely moving. And crucially the transition between the two never feels forced. I've seen a few critical comments that the film's underlying topic - the subjugation of the Indian state and the queen's role in that, is a "serious topic" and not a suitable subject for a comedy like this. And of course, "the Empire" is a terrible legacy that the British people have around their necks in the same manner as Germans have their Nazi past and the American South have their history of slavery. But the film never really gets into these issues in any depth: Abdul's background, whilst sketchily drawn and feeling rather sanitised for the late 1800's, is one of a middle-class Indian with a decent colonial job: someone shown respect by his British managers. While the "uprising" of Muslims is mentioned - indeed it's a key part of the story - Victoria's lack of knowledge of such things, or indeed of all things to do with the country she is 'Empress' of, is made clear. The focus of the film is quite rightly on the understandable scandal (for the day) of the queen of England (and hence head of the Church of England) having a spiritual teacher (or "Munshi") who is neither white nor Christian. If there is a criticism to be made of the splendid script by Lee Hall ("War Horse") it is that the racial references - and there are a few - feel rather over-sanitised given the tensions that erupt as the story unfolds. Above all, this is an acting tour de force for Dame Judi, reprising her role as the elderly queen from "Mrs Brown" which (shockingly!) is now 20 years old. I know its early in the season to be placing bets, before having seen any of the other major contenders, but Dench's "insanity" speech screams "Oscar reel" to me. Her performance is masterly from beginning to end. Rather overshadowed by Dench is the relative newcomer to western cinema Ali Fazal (he had a role in the "Furious 7" film). But his performance is almost as impressive, bringing the warmth and compassion to the supporting role that is so sorely needed if the overall balance of the film is to be maintained. The supporting cast is equally stellar with Olivia Williams ("An Education", "The Sixth Sense") acidic as Baroness Churchill; Simon Callow ("Four Weddings and a Funeral") as Puccini; Michael Gambon ("Harry Potter") as Lord Salisbury and Tim Pigott-Smith as Henry Ponsonby, head of the royal household. This was Pigott-Smith's final live-action performance before his untimely death at the age of only 70 in April of this year: and it's sad to say that he really doesn't look well in this film. Also of note is Fenella Woolgar as lady's maid Miss Phipps, comical as a the quivering wreck holding the shortest straw in having to face up to her ferocious mistress. Another star of the show is the Scottish countryside, ravishingly photographed by Danny Cohen ("Florence Foster Jenkins", "Room") with this film probably doing more for the Scottish Tourist Board than any paid for advertising could ever do! As the film comments it's "Based on a True Story... Mostly", and this tease of a caption both infuriates and intrigues in equal measure.  I may feel obliged to delve into the original source material by Shrabani Basu to learn more.   Overall this is a true delight of a film, perfectly balanced, brilliantly acted: I would say this is a "must see" for any older viewers over the age of 50 in need of a cinema outing that doesn't disappoint. This is everything that (for me) "Viceroy's House" should have been but wasn't. Highly recommended. (For the graphical version of this review, please visit www.bob-the- movie-man.com. Thanks.)

Reviewed by imdb-6284 14th September, 2017

Surprisingly endearing

My wife and I attended a preview screening last night with no preconceived ideas about the movie, not having even seen a trailer. We were immediately drawn in and pleasantly surprised by the story, even though we thought it may have been a little far fetched. Until we found that it is a biography and mostly fact. That made the story even sweeter. Dame Judy Dench's acting was peerless as usual, but by far the biggest revelation was Ali Fazal, who put in a wonderful performance from comedic through emotionally intense. There was so much I didn't know about Queen Victoria's twilight years that this movie put into perspective, in a way that was consistently entertaining. We laughed and cried. Highly recommended.