Title: Victoria & Abdul
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Director: Stephen Frears
Starring: Judi Dench, Ali Fazal, Eddie Izzard
Runtime: 1 hr 51 mins
What It Is: When Abdul Karim (Fazal) is chosen to present a gift to Queen Victoria (Dench) of England. When doing so Abul looks the Queen right in the eye even though he was expressly told not too. This surprises the Queen and she wants to know more about the “handsome” Indian man who presented her with this gift. She invites Abdul and his cohort Mohammed (Adeel Akhtar) back and eventually elevates him to her “Munshi” and usually keeps him by her side.
What We Think: It tries so much to make itself an awards-contending type film up to and including having Judi Dench play the Queen of England. I mean what happened last time she did that? SPOILER she won an Oscar for like 5 minutes of onscreen time. So I mean you get what they were going for. It sorta worked because Dench has, as of the writing of this received a Golden Globe and Screen Actors Guild award nomination. I though Fazal was good but I really didn’t like the story being told. That’s where most of my problems lay.
Our Grade: C-, It stumbles and bumbles its way to a conclusion. This, for me, was just the same tired period formula. Outside of some great chemistry, there’s nothing here to really sink your teeth into. Perhaps stick with literally any one of the thousands of other period dramas around. There’s literally way too many. Maybe something like the great Testament of Youth or Love & Friendship a film in which I’m pretty much the only person who didn’t enjoy it. I cannot recommend this one. Not even a little bit. Go someplace else to get that Victorian fix. Or just like watch something without fancy British accents…yeah.