ABC Film Challenge – Biopics – U – A United Kingdom (2016)

Director: Amma Asante

Writer: Guy Hibbert (Screenplay) Susan Williams (Book)

Starring: David Oyelowo, Rosamund Pike, Tom Felton, Jack Davenport, Laura Carmichael, Terry Pheto

 

Plot: The story of King Seretse Khama of Botswana and how his loving but controversial marriage to a British white woman, Ruth Williams, put his kingdom into political and diplomatic turmoil.


Tagline – The true story of a love that shook an empire.

Runtime: 1 Hour 52 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Nice History Lesson

 

Story: A Untied Kingdom starts in 1947 England where Prince Seretse Khama (Oyelowo) of Bechuanaland (known today as Botswana) is in England studying law, he meets file clerk Ruth Williams (Pike) and the two fall in love.

With tension between Bechuanaland and South Africa high the idea of the soon to be King marrying a white woman would be unheard off. The British government doesn’t want him to become king and Seretse own family don’t want him to become king if he stays with Ruth. With the racial divide still going strong, Seretse pushed for equality over anything else, so he can unite his kingdom when he becomes king.

 

Thoughts on A United Kingdom

 

Characters – Seretse Khama is the prince of Bechuanaland he has been studying law in England to prepare for his time as king, he falls in love a white woman in Ruth Williams which throws tensions from his family, government in the air and to prove his love is more important than his traditions and bring the equality between the races together. Ruth Williams is an English clerk whose family has been working to teach Christianity to Africans, she meets and falls in love with Seretse and goes against everyone else’s desires and marries him. Rufus Lancaster is the British liaison in Bechuanaland who leads the opposition from the land, which only shows us just how the English were over controlling.

PerformancesDavid Oyelowo is wonderful in the leading role, showing us once again that he can lead any movie he wants too. Rosamund Pike shines to showing everyone that she can handle to calm roles after the psycho ones in Gone Girl. The rest of the cast are wonderful even if the British characters are as stuck up as you would imagine them to be.

StoryThe story follows the lives of King Seretse who marries an English white woman which puts the balance between the racial tension in his home land and British rule. We learn a lot from this movie, because we see how the country was being controlled from outside forces that only saw them as a piece of land. There is a lot to take in and the history lesson about this union that created a chance in the land.

Biopic/RomanceWhat King Seretse and his wife Ruth achieved for Botswana was incredible and this shows us how their love drove them to achieve this change.

SettingsThe settings show us the high society British look at an African country that was following its own traditions to become the independent from this style of rule.


Scene of the Movie –
Speech to the ‘tribe’ as the British called them.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Knowing the English were this shallow.

Final ThoughtsThis is a good look at how the world was once ruled by people who believe they are in the right to control countries affairs and how their union would change everything.

 

Overall: History is always worth learning.

Rating

 

 

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Eye in the Sky (2016)

eyeDirector: Gavin Hood

Writer: Guy Hibbert (Screenplay)

Starring: Helen Mirren, Aaron Paul, Alan Rickman, Barkhad Abdi, Phoebe Fox

 

Plot: Col. Katherine Powell, a military officer in command of an operation to capture terrorists in Kenya, sees her mission escalate when a girl enters the kill zone triggering an international dispute over the implications of modern warfare.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Intense Thriller

 

Story: Eye in the Sky starts Colonel Katherine Powell (Mirren) planning her latest mission in her search for terrorists in Kenya. She has two drone pilots located in the States Steve Watts (Paul) and rookie Carrie Gershon (Fox) being her eyes in the sky as Katherine co-ordinates with the locals in Kenya planning the take down.

We continue to meet everyone else involved in this operation with Lieutenant General Frank Benson (Rickman) keeping everything under control from a British military office and Jama Farah (Abdi) a ground surveillance from the ground.

Finding the terrorists, the we get go through the legal and ethical decision about any drone attack, this is what creates all of the tension through the film.

Eye in the Sky shows us the modern warfare and how the search for these deadly terrorist, the story shows how difficult these decisions the people involved have to face because they are not only trying to stop terrorist attacks they are trying to protect the innocent lives involved too. Having the people located all over the world also shows us how much of a global operation this actually is too. I think the tension is built up through the film that does help keep us on edge and is willing to offer up the questions about what we would do too.

 

Actor Review

 

Helen Mirren: Colonel Katherine Powell is running the operation to locate and capture known terrorists in Africa. She has to communicate with people all over the world on this operation as well as dealing with legal and ethical consequences. Helen gives us a great grounded performance through this film.

Aaron Paul: Steve Watts is the drone pilot stationed in Nevada having to watch over the situation unfold, he knows that he is pulling the trigger that could end innocent lives. Aaron is good in this performance showing all the emotion needed in the role.

Alan Rickman: Lieutenant General Frank Benson has to communicate with the highest ranking officials as to what can be done for the good of the mission and the good of the country all after he had the difficult decision what present to buy. Alan gives the performance you would expect from him in one of his last before we lost great.

Barkhad Abdi: Jama Farah is the Kenyan agent on the ground that has to risk his own life to get close to produce a positive ID on the suspects. Barkhad is good in this role having to deal with the most action involved in the story.

Support Cast: Eye in the Sky has a supporting cast that are all involved in the operation from all around the world they all help balance what would be the right or wrong decision.

Director Review: Gavin HoodGavin gives us a thriller that keeps you on edge throughout as well as offering all the questions needed during these operations.

 

Thriller: Eye in the Sky keeps us on edge wondering how the operation will go from start to finish.

War: Eye in the Sky shows us all the angles on the modern warfare when it comes to the decision making when dealing with terrorists and innocent lives.

Settings: Eye in the Sky puts our characters in different global positions when it comes to dealing with the operation, each location shows how modern warfare is being handled now.
Special Effects
: Eye in the Sky uses the effects very well throughout when needed but never turning them too often.

Suggestion: Eye in the Sky is one I do think everyone should enjoy. (Watch)

 

Best Part: Tension being built.

Worst Part: I think some people might expect more action.

Oh My God Moment: Final decision.

Favourite Quote: Lt. General Frank Benson ‘Never tell a soldier that he does not know the cost of war.’

 

Believability: This could be a real operation.

Chances of Tears: Maybe.

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Oscar Chances: No

Budget: $13 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 42 Minutes

Tagline: Welcome to the new front line. 

 

Overall: One of the most intense thrillers of the year.

Ratingcard