Victoria and Abdul (2017)

Director: Stephen Frears

Writer: Lee Hall (Screenplay) Shrabani Basu (Book)

Starring: Judi Dench, Ali Fazal, Olivia Williams, Michael Gambon, Simon Callow, Eddie Izzard, Tim Pigott-Smith, Adeel Akhtar

 

Plot: Queen Victoria strikes up an unlikely friendship with a young Indian clerk named Abdul Karim.


Tagline – History’s most unlikely friendship

Runtime: 1 Hour 52 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Enlightening Historical Moment

 

Story: Victoria and Abdul starts as Abdul Karim (Fazal) and Mohammed (Akhtar) are selected to travel from India to England to present Queen Victoria (Dench) with a gift from the Indian Empire. When Queen Victoria sees something in Abdul, sees becomes friends with him, learning about the Indian culture in a way she could never understand from the English textbook.

While their relationship becoming the talk of the palace, they even start to question whether it is good for her, but the relationship gives Queen Victoria a chance to express the lost loves of her life, a face she could never have on front of her subjects.

 

Thoughts on Victoria and Abdul

 

Characters – Queen Victoria is the elderly Queen of England, Albert has passed on, her children have their own lives and now she goes for countless routines of meeting different people, with most people almost waiting for her to die. When she befriends Abdul she gets a new lease for life and she looks to embrace the Indian culture. Abdul is a clerk from India, he gets selected to present Queen Victoria a gift, he soon finds himself being her closest aid, teaching her about the Indian culture, causing a potential rift in the royal household. He treats Queen Victoria like a person rather than a royal figure which is what helps her enjoy her later life.

PerformancesJudi Dench is fantastic in the leading role, bringing us a performance that could rival her Mrs Brown performance as Queen Victoria too. Ali Fazal is brilliant in the partnership role with Dench, he helps give the light to the role that at times is treated with racial hate. The supporting cast across the board is great too showing all the different levels people treated outsiders.

StoryThe story follows the later years Queen Victoria who became friends with an Indian clerk against the will of rest of the palace. We see how this gave her a new lease for life if only for a couple of years. The story that history wanted you to forget about becomes a fascinating watch because like most interesting moments in history they have faced being erased.

Biopic/HistoryQueen Victoria was one of the great known members of the royal family, the former longest ruling monarch, she had many stories and this is another one that shows us what she was like.

SettingsThe settings all feel authentic for the time showing us what it was like for Abdul to learn the new culture.


Scene of the Movie –
You will respect Abdul speech.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The end while following history is frustrating to see.

Final ThoughtsThis is a great history lesson on the iconic leader of the country. It has two wonderful performances and enough charm to enjoy for everybody watching.

 

Overall: Enjoyable historical film.

Rating

 

 

 

Advertisements

The Big Sick (2017)

Director: Michael Showalter

Writer: Emily V Gordon, Kumail Nanjiani (Screenplay)

Starring: Kumail Nanjiani, Zoe Kazan, Holly Hunter, Ray Romano, Anupam Kher, Zenobia Shroff, Adeel Akhtar

 

Plot: Pakistan-born comedian Kumail Nanjiani and grad student Emily Gardner fall in love but struggle as their cultures clash. When Emily contracts a mysterious illness, Kumail finds himself forced to face her feisty parents, his family’s expectations, and his true feelings.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Romantic Comedy of the Year

 

Story: The Big Sick starts as Pakistan stand-up comedian Kumail (Nanjiani) meets Emily (Kazan) and the two hit it off, but Kumail must battle his own feelings towards Emily and his family that only want him to marry a Pakistan woman. After the two have a big argument the two go their separate ways.

Kumail finally gets his chance to go to Montreal but gets an emergency call to be at Emily’s side, this gives him a chance to meet her parents Beth (Hunter) and Terry (Romano) for the first time as the three must deal with her potentially life-threatening illness giving the three a chance to bond as Kumail discovers he can’t live without Emily.

 

Thoughts on The Big Sick

 

Characters – The characters are based on the true people so it is hard to go into details on them being good or bad, so I will just let you know about them in general. Kumail is the Pakistan stand-up comedian dealing with his parents trying to find him a bride but he doesn’t follow the same faith they do. He meets Emily which only makes his decisions harder on whether to follow his heart or not and spending time with her parents offers him the answer he needs. Emily is the student that walks into Kumail’s life, she becomes his light but when she becomes sick she brings him closer than ever to him even if she is in a coma for half the film. Terry and Beth are the parents of Emily, they are in full panic mode while she is sick but they get to bond with Kumail through the struggle.

PerformanceKumail Nanjiani plays himself in the movie, which is good to see him play a different character as we usually just seem him do a small moment in comedy movies but here he stars as a real person that could be one of the best performances in a comedy in years. Zoe Kazan is one of the actress that you can say, we need you in a romantic comedy drama, she will be on the top of every one’s list. Holly Hunter and Ray Romano are both great in the supporting roles showing they can be great in parent roles.

StoryThe story is based on Kumail and Emily falling in love, it shows the religious sides holding up the Kumail being able to make a decision, while given the moment in his life where he must make the decision that he wants more than anything. This is a love story, not an easy one but a real one which is the most important one to see.

Comedy/RomanceThe comedy in this film is mostly stand-up and a defensive side to hide from the truth, the romance comes from how the two fall in love through difficult situation.

SettingsThe settings don’t go into too much details, we have the hospital to show the desperate mindset they are in, the comedy club shows a future Kumail could have and the apartments to show the normal lives they are both living.

Scene of the Movie – Parent’s watching the stand up.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Certain moments at the stand-up show try to put too many jokes in.

Tagline – An Awkward True Story

Final ThoughtsThis is a romantic comedy with a heart that is based on a true story that shows us love can come from any direction even when you weren’t expecting it.

 

Overall: One of the Must watch movies of the year.

Rating

 

 

Four Lions (2010)

four-lionsDirector: Christopher Morris

Writer: Christopher Morris, Sam Bain, Jesse Armstrong (Screenplay)

Starring: Riz Ahmed, Arsher Ali, Nigel Lindsay, Kayvan Novak, Adeel Akhtar, Julia Davis, Craig Parkinson

 

Plot: Four incompetent British jihadists set out to train for and commit an act of terror.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Great Funny Comedy

 

Story: Four Lions starts as we meet four British Muslims working simple jobs in England, Omar (Ahmed), Barry (Lindsay), Waj (Novak) and Faisal (Akhtar) who want to going be Jihadists. Omar and Waj get the call to travel to Pakistan to go through the training with Barry keeping up the fight back in the UK recruiting Hassan (Ali).

When the group reunite, they plan their own terrorist attack in the UK but as things continue to go wrong with Barry’s extreme behaviour, while Omar wanting to be more calculated with his attack. When they finally put their difference behind them the group look to plan their attack with of course comical consequences.

 

Thoughts on Four Lions

 

Characters/PerformanceOmar is the calm leader who has the plan down perfectly and tries to do the right thing for his friend, Waj is the simple-minded character who is easily led astray by Barry and Omar. Barry is the true British extremist who enjoys the terrorist idea and wants to hurt as many people as he can, he is the true bad example of this whole film. we get to see the comic side of these hopeless characters who want to be terrorists.

Performance wise Riz Ahmed is brilliant in this role with Nigel Lindasy and Kayvan Novak being equally as entertaining through the whole film. I think the whole cast do a great job at how we can see the nativity behind the jihadists extremists.stars

StoryThe story shows us how naïve jihadists believe they can follow others into the terrorist’s idea when they are clearly just clueless about the whole situation. This is an advert about how people can be led astray by these extremist’s beliefs but never understand the true meaning of everything they are doing. The story is mostly parody which works all so well for the film.

Comedy/CrimeWe have laughs from start to finish in this film while the crime terrorist attack is being planned.

SettingsThe settings show how these men can come from everyday background to be the terrorists, we see whole London can be a target with the links to escape or find trapped.

Special EffectsThe special effects are only used in small places but they all work well for the film.genre

Final ThoughtsWhen it comes to comedy this is by far one of the best you will see and I think everyone could enjoy even with a sensitive subject.

 

Overall: A must watch for all the comedy fans out there.

Ratingrating