Sunday, January 14, 2018

Victoria & Abdul (on DVD)

Victoria and Abdul
[DVD Victoria]

This is a marvelous historical bio-pic, focusing on a lesser-known period of British history. Late in her life, Queen Victoria (1819-1901) became fascinated with an East Indian — Abdul Karim — who had been sent to her on a minor errand to present a diplomatic gift. His intelligence and personality brought her back to vibrancy during a stagnant period of her reign, and she appointed him “The Munshi”, a spiritual teacher for her on all things associated with India, which was part of the British Empire of the time. Despite resistance, prejudice and hatred towards Abdul from other members of Victoria’s family and the British government, Victoria and Abdul had a special and lasting relationship until her passing, at which time Abdul and his family were returned to India, and most of the paperwork that documented his role in Victoria’s life was destroyed. It is only in recent years that more documentation has surfaced.

The performances by Dame Judy Dench as Victoria and Ali Fazal as Abdul anchor an excellent cast. The production values on this film are tremendous, with incredible costumes and set design — the film-makers were given the rare privilege to be able to film at several of the actual historic properties associated with Queen Victoria. I learned a lot about the relationship between Victoria and Abdul, and wanted to learn more. I highly recommend this film!

[If you enjoy this, you may also wish to try the book Victoria and Abdul: The True Story of the Queen’s Closest Confidante by Shrabani Basu ]

[ Internet Movie Database entry for this film ] | [ official Victoria & Abdul web site ]

Recommended by Scott C.
Bennett Martin Public Library

Have you watched this one? What did you think? Did you find this review helpful?

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