Victoria and Abdul is directed by Stephen Frears and stars Judi Dench as the notorious Queen Victoria. A poignant look into the later years of Queen Vic's rein, sees an unlikely relationship spark between her and a young Indian clark named Abdul.
Dench reprises her role as the moody monarch in this somewhat bland, rich tea biscuit drama. Despite its number of poignant moments - Victoria and Abdul struggles to emphasise the importance of the two's relationship.
When it's said and done - Dench delivers a masterclass performance and is the core reason in creating an almost worthwhile biography. Her exemplary acting skill tends to overshadow Abdul (Ali Fazal) - producing a film which should conveyed the anomaly of the times but rather highlights a progressive and unnoticed side to Queen Victoria.
Though it may be hit or miss - Victoria and Abdul generates a few genuine British laughs that often detract from the film's more enjoyable and more heartwarming moments. When joke do land - it's noticeable how it's not the line itself that was amusing but so much the way in which they are delivered. It finds a common ground between Victoria and Abdul fairly quickly but doesn't define the unlikeliness of their relationship. Dench's co-stars though just about serviceable - deliver regularly one note performances that more play as an unnecessary time fill in.
What clearly prevents Victoria and Abdul from becoming anywhere near as special as it could of been - is the writers struggle to get a firm grip on the material. Based on true life events that were hidden away from the world for over one hundred years - it's as if the material itself doesn't supply the meat of the story that was initial imagined. Too few events occur throughout the story to challenge their relationship and doesn't acquire a layered enough narrative to create an entire movie on.
BBC's latest period piece, is primarily worth while for Dench's dazzling portrayal of one of history's most iconic figures. Given the charming colour of Abdul and Vic's relationship - it's almost miserable how dull the story plays out. Despite great pains taken to explore the unusual friendship given the time - when it comes to end result - we are not amused.
I am going to give Victoria and Abdul:
Pinch of info
Hi I’m James - a huge welcome to my film blog! I started this site just after my 14th birthday and have been bringing you my own take on the hottest box office arrivals and many art house triumphs ever since.