As usual with these not-so-wide distributed movies, I missed this one when it came to the theatre. It’s finally up on Amazon to stream for $5.99. Last evening I sat down and watched it, hoping for another entertaining look into Queen Victoria’s life.
The movie focuses on the relationship between Abdul Karim and Victoria. Abdul is brought to England from India to present the queen with a gift. After all, she is the Empress of India, and Abdul is proud to serve England. His attitude, of course, isn’t shared by all who are Indian.
Instantly, Victoria is interested in the handsome stranger and becomes enthralled over his engaging presence. At this point in her reign, she is tired, bored, and lonely. Abdul fills a void left behind that was once held by her dear husband Albert and subsequent friendship with John Brown that lasted for many years until he passed away. Abdul fills that void and becomes her friend and teacher.
There is a fascinating documentary about the real story of the relationship between Abdul and Victoria that can be found on YouTube called, “Queen’s Victoria’s Last Love Abdul Karim,” which I highly recommend.
Naturally, Judy Dench makes the perfect Queen Victoria and does a wonderful portrayal that is quite close to the one in Mrs. Brown, which is the movie about her relationship with John Brown on Amazon entitled Her Majesty, Mrs. Brown.
Of course, the queen’s new favorite is not the favorite of her family or the queen’s court. She raises the commoner from India to positions that are not deserved as far as her family, the prime minister, and others with aristocratic airs are concerned. The hated for Abdul grows. Ali Fazal plays an exuberant friend to the queen, displaying his contagious joy that perks her up from depression.
The movie, though entertaining, doesn’t rank as highly in my favorites as Mrs. Brown. It’s interesting, though, that both them men came into Queen Victoria’s life at important times to give her friendship and emotional support. She was undoubtedly an extraordinary woman.