Queen Victoria, known for being a stubborn Queen whilst in her reign, is portrayed by one of the most prolific actresses of our time, Miss Dame Judi Dench, I am not sure how many times she has been offered the roles of historical icons but the roles are stereotyped towards her as an actress. But, it was about time we learnt more about Queen Victoria and her time in power.
Mostly based on a true story, the film follows Queen Victoria (Judi Dench) and her relationship with an Indian man named Abdul (Ali Fazal). It follows the struggles she had whilst in power and due to her age how much she could do for her country. However, when Abdul came along, she became more understanding and loved spending time with him, learning about his culture and putting her twist of Indian knowledge into her home. Even though his constant presence was frowned upon, Abdul made sure that the Queen was his priority and that nothing else matters to him.
BBC Films have produced a good film overall. Stephen Frears managed to direct the film with class with putting modern elements of his own into the period of time the film is set in. It could have been better in areas, sometimes the acting was a bit stale and hard to believe at times but I guess that could have been the comedic element trying to form within the film itself. The problem was that you have knowledge of a serious character and find it hard to believe whether the ‘true story’ element is even true anymore. Admittedly, I did like the comedy at times, taking matters of today’s day and age, using stereotypes for comedic purposes but a lot of it felt forced and not natural enough.
Judi Dench probably one of the most prolific actresses of our generation but I wasn’t amazed by her performance. At the end of the day, it’s another role that is made for her, at some point, I would like her to take a role that challenges her. Something that is completely out of her comfort zone to make her into something new and give her more relevance. Ali Fazal, a new talent coming to our cinema screens was very good, believable and made an authentic performance. Of course, the story has been romanticised and made more loving but in real life, he did not look like how he did, I feel like the film overall could have been taken more seriously, considering it was of a serious nature of his friendship with the Queen.
In conclusion, I would have preferred to see the film in a more serious manner. I felt they tried too hard to make it funny for audiences when in actual fact, the friend relationship they had together was a big connection. The film was easy to view and enjoyable but would I recommend my friends to go and see this film? Probably not. I would say there are better true stories out there and adapted better. The relevance to today’s world works, but not completely.