I've said it over and over but I would watch the iconic Judi Dench in any movie role. Here in "Victoria & Abdul", Dench plays the historic Queen Victoria who, in her 50th year on the British throne, encounters Abdul (played glowingly by Abdul Ali Fazal) when he is one of 2 Indians selected from this British Colony to present her with a gift.
The Queen is now 80, a widow, remarkably mean, obese, of failing health and much more. Abdul does the unthinkable and makes eye contact with the Queen when presenting the gift and gives her a little smile.
They immediately bond and she is spirited with his culture, kindness, sincerity and willingness to befriend her.
It is a beautiful fun friendship which you just have to root for. Of course, the government leaders, her staff, her children etc. abhor this non-Briitish, non-upper crust, dark skinned intruder in her life and threatens generations of British royalty tradition and structure.
The credits shared that the royal family was so embarrassed by this relationship that they kept the story buried for 100 years until uncovered by a chance by a historian.
This movie got good but not great ratings and not sure why.
This is a true story & nobody plays British royalty better that Juli Dench, being less than 2 hours, I can only suspect that the aged Queen Victoria is not an overwhelming historical nor engaging person. Hence, difficult to enhance a film with a modest heroine…still I very much enjoyed."