VICTORIA AND ABDUL chronicle the unique relationship between the elderly Queen Victoria and a young Indian Muslim man named Abdul Karim. One of two Indians chosen to present the queen with a gift during her Golden Jubilee celebrations. The year is 1887, and Victoria is, after 50 years on the throne, tired and bored with the endless rounds of ceremonial duties and banquets. Spotting the handsome Abdul brings her some joy, so he and his fellow Indian servant, Mohammed, are told to stay in England to serve the queen.
Soon, Abdul charms her with his poetic musings, and she elevates his status to that of “Munshi” (“teacher” in Urdu) and keeps him as part of the royal household. Meanwhile, Victoria’s friendship with the “brown,” low-born man, scandalizes everyone around her, including her oldest son, Bertie, the Prince of Wales; her private secretary, Sir Ponsonby; her personal physician, Dr. Reid; and the Prime Minister. But the queen enjoys the Munshi so much that she ignores their demands and continues to keep him by her side. It has a clear message about very different people being able to bond over universal experiences and feelings, and curiosity and gratitude are main themes.
All About New Upcoming Fantasy Movie Victoria and Abdul
Judi Dench, Ali Fazal, Tim Pigott-Smith, Eddie Izzard, Adeel Akhtar, Michael Gambon
About Judi Dench
Judi Dench, who was previously seen playing the younger version of the Queen in Mrs.Brown, is in terrific form once again. She masterly captures all the nuances required to convincingly play an aged, lonely yet determined Queen. It is absolutely amazing to see her playing weary and spunky with equal believability.
Ali Fazal performs his innocent and charming character of Abdul nicely. It is a big feat for a young actor to be able to stand in front of an accomplished actor like Dench and he has managed to make most of the opportunity. The rest of the cast is condemned to represent a gallery of caricatures.
This director is skittish; his career jumps and troughs like a cardiogram reading. Frears has made some great films (The Grifters, Philomena, My Beautiful Laundrette) and some god-awful ones too (Lay the Favourite; Muhammad Ali’s Greatest Fight). Victoria & Abdul belongs with the duds. Matters marginally improve when politics intrude on the idyll and when the scandalized courtiers start plotting the man’s downfall, but it’s too little, too late. What a peculiarly dodgy, conservative film this is – a lazy salute to a good queen and her faithful Indian servant. It’s a film about the Raj era that looks as if it was made back then, too.The setting is quite remarkable here. The film highlights the fact that the Queen was truly a non-racist in an era of unthinkable racism. The film attributes some fairly progressive views of hers, like the appointment of a Muslim to a key role in royal household is a conquest for diversity.In the shift from comedy to drama the movie goes wobbly. The narrative of cross-cultural understanding by way of individual affinity is a comforting but ultimately dubious one. The notion of Queen Victoria as the most progressive figure of the Victorian age is also peculiar. But this is a handsomely packaged collection of such notions and will provide genteel entertainment to those of a mind to swallow them.