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

 

 

 

Willem Dafoe Weekend – Shadow of the Vampire (2000)

shadowDirector: E. Elias Merhige

Writer: Steven Katz (Screenplay)

Starring: John Malkovich, Willem Dafoe, Udo Kier, Cary Elwes, Catherine McCormack, Eddie Izzard, Aden Gillett, Nicholas Elliott

 

Plot: The filming of Nosferatu (1922) is hampered by the fact that its star Max Schreck is taking the role of a vampire far more seriously than seems humanly possible.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Very Clever Horror Drama

 

Story: Shadow of the Vampire starts as we see director Friedrich Wilhelm Munrau (Malkovich) who is looking to bring his version of Dracula, Nosferatu due to legal reasons. He moves his film from the set to location where Max Schreck (Dafoe) will be joining them with what is considered an extreme method acting style.

Max only appears in character and remains isolated at all times from the rest of the cast giving the terrifying look needed for the role of the vampire. When it appears that Max might be taking things too far the crew start to question whether he is really a vampire or just that good of an actor.

Shadow of the Vampire gives us a look at a behind the scenes theories to one of the greatest horror movies ever made. We know that people believe that certain things have happened on set and that the real Max Schreck was shocking when first witnessed. This film gives us a story to decide what we think of the idea that Max was a vampire being used to make the ultimate film

 

Actor Review

 

John Malkovich: Friedrich Wilhelm Munrau is the brilliant respected German movie director whose latest work is Nosferatu the closest legal story to Dracula. He has the backing of the studio to take chances that other directors couldn’t including shooting on set. We see how far he will go for this film as he knows Max’s true nature. John is great in this role where we see just how far he will go.

Willem Dafoe: Max Schreck is the actor that gets hired by Friedrich for the role of the vampire, he is keeping within the character from the first moment of the film to the final but it soon becomes clear that he might in fact be a vampire. Willem gives the best performance of his career where he is nearly unrecognizable.

Udo Kier: Albin Grau is the producer for the film that first questions the ideas that are being used before finally seeing the good side of the film happening. Udo is good in this role giving what feels like a real producer performance.

Cary Elwes: Fritz Arno Wagner is the newest cameraman bought into the shoot after the first one gets injured. He is out different to the first being louder and more worldly in his ideas. Cary is good in the supporting role.

Support Cast: Shadow of the Vampire has a small but key supporting cast that all are members of the film either behind the cameras of fellow actors. Each member does a good job in their roles.

Director Review: E. Elias MerhigeThe director gives us a film that is really one of the more interesting ones that seems to have gone under the radar.

 

Horror: Shadow of the Vampire gives us a horror that shows what it could be real events behind one of the greatest.

Settings: Shadow of the Vampire puts us in the settings that make us feel like we are part of the film crew.
Special Effects
: Shadow of the Vampire has great effects with most being with the creation Max looks.

Suggestion: Shadow of the Vampire is one I think people should really give a go, it is very interesting concept. (Give it a Go)

 

Best Part: Dafoe is amazing.

Worst Part: It does have slow moments.

 

Believability: It is all about what you want to believe.

Chances of Tears: No

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Oscar Chances: Nominated for 2 Oscars including Best Supporting Actor for Willem Dafoe.

Budget: $8 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 32 Minutes

Tagline: An Unspeakable Horror. A Creative Genius. Captured For Eternity.

 

Overall: Very interesting concept that we could see on many other films.

Ratingcard