Victoria and Abdul is one of those stories that is based on truth (mostly, as it says in the beginning of this new movie). An elderly Queen Victoria forges an unusual relationship with a young clerk sent from India to present her with a ceremonial gold coin during the Queen’s Jubilee.
I can’t tell you much or I’ll give away the plot, and the movie isn’t widely available yet (boo to movie reviewers who spill all the beans)!
I found myself wondering just how receptive Queen Victoria would be if at that point in history, anyone, let alone a common man from India, took the shocking liberty to interact with her or that she would nfluenced by what he said or did.
But in reality, she did have a genuine friendship with Abdul Kareem and he was her teacher “Munshi” and a loyal companion, even when she traveled.
The story flows well, albeit with some very overblown drama from the royal household especially from “Bertie
(Eddie Izzard) who will be the future King Edward VII and some strange scenes with Abdul’s “women.”
But the scenery and costumes are eye candy and Dame Judi Dench as an elderly Queen Victoria is so riveting and masterfully played without deteriorating into ridulouslness, you can simply consider this story as you would a romance novel: a delightful fiction.
Abdul Kareem (Ali Fazal) is also very charming as the Indian Clerk who becomes her teacher (munshi).
I Can’t Tell You Much But..
When I’ve attended movie previews in the past, the audience is usually mixed on whether or not it’s worth seeing.
Although journalists should know better, they show their displeasure with whispering, rustling, talking and in the case of more than one movie, outright heckling of what’s happening on the big screen.
At the preview for Victoria and Abdul, the theater was packed, and you could hear a pin drop through the entire movie. At the end, there was spontaneous, raucous applause.
GO SEE IT!
If you saw Mrs. Brown with Judi Dench and loved it, you will love this movie portraying yet another unique friendship that Queen Victoria fostered during her reign. Judi Dench does it fabulously well.