Victoria & Abdul is a delightful film directed by Stephen Frears and written by Lee Hall based on the book by Shrabani Basu. The movie depicts the real-life relationship between Queen Victoria and Abdul, her Indian servant. Queen Victoria played by Judi Dench and Abdul played by Ali Fazal tug at your heartstrings with their touching performance.
Set in the background of Britain’s most lavish palaces the film takes you back in time. Though what appears to be a grandeur lifestyle suited for a Queen, in reality, is a very mundane existence. Attending numerous ceremonies with a room full of people, yet feeling distant and lonely. Meeting Abdul and sensing his genuine and lovable nature, the Queen once again has a beat to her walk. Something that we all need, a companion, and Abdul is like that breath of fresh air in her life. With no hidden agenda to the Queen or her money, she adopts him into her heart. The staff and even the Queen’s son aren’t too happy with all the affection and attention she gives to this lowly servant from India. The more she gravitates towards him the more everyone else despises him. Though she lets nothing come in between them regardless of their many attempts.
The movie has made its way to the festival circuits with TIFF coming up this week. Dench, an Oscar winner as a Queen in Shakespeare In Love and a Best Actress nominee for Mrs. Brown in 1997 is brilliant as Queen Victoria. Her chemistry with Fazal seems natural and you see the bond between them slowly flourish with her eventually calling him her son. The connection between the two is truly a spiritual one. Mohammad, played by Adeel Akhtar comes to London with Abdul adding much to the laughter of the movie with his great comedic timing.
Victoria & Abdul opens up in theaters September 22nd. We highly recommend this comedy-drama and give our two thumbs up! This one is not to be missed.