Victoria & Abdul

Victoria & Abdul

Stephen Frears (2017)

106min
PG Certificate
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Review

Our Score
A little-known episode from the final years of Queen Victoria's reign provides the inspiration for this unexpected odd-couple comedy drama. Summoned from Agra to present a commemorative coin at Windsor, low-born Abdul Karim (Bollywood star Ali Fazal) soon captures the attention of Judi Dench's ageing and lonely monarch, whose open-hearted attitude towards this Muslim newcomer contrasts with the outright hostility displayed by the rest of the royal household. Soon he's teaching the queen Urdu, yet equally significant is the nascent emotional bond between handsome servant and isolated widow. As such, this stands as a companion piece to 1997's Mrs Brown, dedicated to an earlier key friendship during Victoria's reign. But this film offers much sharper humour, and an even stronger performance from Dame Judi, at her very best conveying both Victoria's surprising vulnerability and her indomitable spirit. Arguably, some of the knockabout comedy's a little too enthusiastic, and Lee Hall's dialogue at times too modern. But sly humour and genuine emotion abound as this fascinating true story emerges from the shadows of history.

Summary

Queen Victoria strikes up an unlikely friendship with a young Indian clerk named Abdul Karim. Stephen Frears drama, starring Judi Dench, Ali Fazal and Tim Pigott-Smith.

Cast & Crew

Queen Victoria Judi Dench
Abdul Karim Ali Fazal
Lord Salisbury Michael Gambon
Bertie, Prince of Wales Eddie Izzard
Baroness Churchill Olivia Williams
Sir Henry Ponsonby Tim Pigott-Smith
Miss Phipps Fenella Woolgar
Mr Puccini Simon Callow
Alick Yorke Julian Wadham
Mohammed Adeel Akhtar
Director Stephen Frears
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Other Information

Language: EnglishColourTheatrical distributor: UniversalGuidance: Some swearingAvailable on: DVDReleased on: 15 Sep 2017
Drama