Victoria & Abdul Movie Review


VICTORIA & ABDUL STORY: In her latter years, Victoria, the Queen of England and Empress of India (Judi Dench), found solace in the company of an Indian clerk Abdul Karim (Ali Fazal), who went on to become her Urdu teacher, spiritual adviser and closest confidant. Based on Shrabani Basu’s book on this extraordinary true story, the film takes a bittersweet look at this little-known friendship that caused a furore within the royal household.

VICTORIA & ABDUL REVIEW: Stephen Frears begins his film by taking us through the monotonous routine of Queen Victoria as she goes around meeting her social obligations during her Golden Jubilee year (1887). During one such royal gatherings, she glances upon Abdul, a wide-eyed Indian boy, who presents her the ceremonial coin (mohur). Despite being warned against looking at her, Abdul’s childish intrigue makes him stare back at her and flash a nervous smile when their eyes meet, amidst a sea of exasperated privileged people. Abdul’s accidental defiance and indifference to protocol, liberates the queen emotionally, who is a prisoner by her own means. Evidently, a ‘Hindoo’ attendant’s rising influence on the queen, rattles members and servants of the royal family, who later discover that he’s Muslim.

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