If you are an ardent admirer of Judi Dench, you cannot possibly miss this wonderful the feel-good addition that she has added to her dynamic and awe-inspiring filmography known as Victoria and Abdul.
Besides, the responsibility of portraying intercultural nuances is worth mentioning, even though the execution was not close to the expectation of the audience. Again, itwould raise your eyebrows if you are well versed in the field of history and historical contexts, for it religiously follows a very different route; it is actually a vehement attempt to recreate the beautiful liaison between the ever known queen Victoria and the menial, unknown royal domestic help of Indian descent, Abdul (portrayed by Ali Fazal). Yes, it is very unlikely! Yes, it is very unusual to the core! However, the Philomena and The Queen director, Stephen Frears has tried to take the difficult task with its horns only to win over the hearts of the viewers.
The story begins with a tall and dark Indian, Abdul Karim, avowed servant of the colonial Indian Government being transferred to England from Agra to serve Her Majesty; he is seen to gallop from one designation to the other in a jiffy as he becomes the spiritual and inspirational munshi of the queen after serving as her bearer and page. These protagonists stirred a wave of jealousy among the onlookers as they develop a very platonic friendship, which apparently seemed a reason to cringe as per other nobles and dignitaries. Abdul teaches his royal highness an array of “Indian stuff”; from enjoying the fleshy and oozing mangoes to the metaphorical plunge into the making of carpet, Abdul preaches a lot, mostly uncanny to the contemporary snobbish British culture. However, to our dismay, Ali Fazal has efficiently failed to get into the skin of the character and absorb its quintessence as Dench.
Perhaps, as viewers we raise our expectations so high that we forget there might exist a very general, usual and basic relationship between an employer and an employee, (however oppressive the former being on the latter’s fellow countrymen). On the surface, the movie is extremely lightweight and is watchable for people who are on a lookout to watch the light and dramatic cinematic creations. Stephen Frears has beautifully played with his directorial skills, behind the camera, being inspired by the historical context and not copying it entirely as per historical doctrines. Dench has performed with a royal aura with a very complementing script helping her in the production. The menial and servile, Abdul draws our keen attention when he rebukes the queen through his stern gazing stance for having ordered for a mass murder of Indians in their native land. The movie, again, has also effortlessly depicted the grand and colossal Victorian era with a flawless royal British camera frame and the contemporary empathizing predicament of India and her children. Watch the movie as a projection of Frears’ imagination without comparing the same with the truth of