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Download Victoria and Abdul 2017 Movie Legally
Drama, Biography, History
IMDB rating:
Stephen Frears


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Simon Callow as Puccini
Sukh Ojla as Mrs. Karim
Ali Fazal as Abdul Karim
Paul Higgins as Dr. Reid
Ruth McCabe as Mrs. Tuck
Julian Wadham as Alick Yorke
Robin Soans as Arthur Bigge
Judi Dench as Queen Victoria
Fenella Woolgar as Miss Phipps
Eddie Izzard as Bertie, Prince of Wales
Adeel Akhtar as Mohammed
Michael Gambon as Lord Salisbury
Tim Pigott-Smith as Sir Henry Ponsonby
Olivia Williams as Lady Churchill
Victoria and Abdul Storyline: Queen Victoria strikes up an unlikely friendship with a young Indian clerk named Abdul Karim.
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Victoria and Abdul
Momentarily after the new film, Victoria and Abdul starts, there is a title card that humorously tells us that the story we are about to see is inspired by true events, at least mostly as the playful title word play suggests. As you will later discover having watched the film, this statement not only about the film, but what takes place and what did apparently happen in reality may in some ways be found to be humorous, as there is a lot of comedy and things to find amusing within this account, but at the same time there is also tragedy that is all the more disturbing because it is not caused by unforeseen circumstances, or events, but instead at the hands of your fellow human beings, who still after all these years have racist and xenophobic tendencies that as much as we may progress as a human race in some ways, these are things that are unfortunately still alive and well as much as we wish they weren't. The film which is as we later learn based on journals and writings of one of our main characters, chronicles the friendship between then Queen Victoria of England and a man named Abdul, who is living over in India, which is then under British rule because of colonialism and she is considered to be Queen not only of England, but also as an Empress of India as well. How a very humble and in many ways, simple person such as Abdul should come not only to meet, but also befriend Queen Victoria, when in actuality they are literally world's apart, I will leave to your viewing pleasure to see the story unfold before you. This is a friendship much to the exasperation of not only Queen Victoria's staff, children and fellow ruling members of the British aristocracy, but even to Abdul, who comes from an entirely different background, culture and world than what he is introduced to when he comes to England in the presence of Queen Victoria. Instead of being pompous, or even hateful because of the British rule in his homeland of India, Abdul willingly serves and also befriends Victoria, and the two of them really bring out the best of themselves and also each other. We see how Victoria, is getting in many ways feeble and frail because of her old age and in a lot of ways she has little to nothing in common with her own family, or the people who work beside, or under her. She is respected by them, but as the film moves along these other counterparts who are meant to be loyal, really just seem to be in it for themselves, and their own best interests are at the heart of everything they do. Abdul, as I mentioned is extremely humble and unlike the fellow ruling class at that time, he is a man that seems not only full of life, but also of joy. Often when we see him, he has a gigantic smile on his face that is almost infectious and he has an optimistic attitude at most if not any time and situation. Victoria is often tired, bored and grows weary of everything that sits in front of her and yet Abdul breathes life and energy into her and makes her not only love the life that she has, but to treasure the things in her life and also what makes this world so very precious indeed. They write together, he teaches her and they just generally have a wonderful connection and bond to one another that I can safely say that she had with no one else within her quarters. For the sake of the monarchy and power that was in her grasp, her fellow servants, family and monarchy all try to stop Abdul, and get him as far away from her as possible, but even when he is threatened he remains both loyal and the best friend that Victoria could possibly have. This is a story of a friendship which knew no boundaries and a love that may have tried to have been suppressed, but instead grew all the more because of it. And instead of hating, or ridiculing each other because of culture, or other background issues, they instead embrace what each other and their culture and world views have to offer. There is a lot of beauty and hope to be found in this film by witnessing this relationship and in a lot of ways there is a gentle and kind quality to this film. We also do witness as I stated earlier the evil side of mankind which is just as prevalent today as it was back then. The film falls a little bit victim of melodrama and some clichéd if not familiar territory in the second half, but it still holds up well as a film as a whole and is a beautiful story that needs to be told and also a lesson in acceptance and tolerance that everyone should see. The performances are all spot on and this is a film not only to inspire, but also as a valuable life lesson of acceptance and even love which I think will win over even the most hardened of hearts.
Victoria & Abdul Film Review
The new drama film Victoria & Abdul based on a true story starring Judi Dench, Ali Fazal, Tim Pigott-Smith, Michael Gambon, Eddie Izzard, Olivia Williams.

Victoria & Abdul the extraordinary true story of an unexpected friendship in the later years of Queen Victoria's (Academy Award winner and English actress Judi Dench - Goldeneye, Skyfall) remarkable rule. When Abdul Karim (Indian actor Ali Fazal - Furious 7), a young clerk, travels from India in the Middle East to participate in the Queen's Golden Jubilee, he is surprised to find favor with the Queen herself. As the Queen questions the constrictions of her long-held position, the two forge an unlikely and devoted alliance with a loyalty to one another that her household and inner circle all attempt to destroy. As the friendship deepens, the Queen begins to see a changing world through new eyes and joyfully reclaims her humanity.

Amongst the other actors / actresses in Victoria & Abdul includes the late English actor Tim Pigott-Smith who sadly passed away earlier this year on 7th April 2017 at the age of 70 (Johnny English, The Remains Of The Day) as Sir Henry Ponsonby, Yemen born / British comedian and actor Eddie Izzard (Valkyrie, My Super Ex- Girlfriend) as Bertie, Prince Of Wales Queen Victoria's son, Adeel Akhtar (The Big Sick, The Dictator) as Mohammed, Republic Of Ireland actor Michael Gambon (TV Series Fortitude, Layer Cake) as Prime Minister Lord Salisbury, Scottish actor Paul Higgins (UK TV Series Line Of Duty, In The Loop) as Dr. Reid, English actress Olivia Williams (Sabotage, Maps To The Stars) as Lady Churchill, English actress Fenella Woolgar (Mr. Turner, Swallows And Amazons) as Miss Phipps, English actor Julian Wadham (Churchill, The Iron Lady) as Alick Yorke, English actor Robin Soans (Viceroy's House, The Queen) as Arthur Bigge Irish actress Ruth McCabe (Philomena, Breakfast On Pluto) as Mrs. Tuck, English actor Simon Callow (Amadeus, Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls) as Puccini, Sukh Ojla (TV Series Hospital People) as Mrs. Karim Abdul Karim's wife, Kemaal Deen-Ellis (Assassin's Creed) as Ahmed, English actor Simon Paisley Day (Flawless) as Mr. Tyler, Penny Ryder (Wimbledon, My Week With Marilyn) as Grand Duchess Sophie, Scottish actor John Stahl (Scottish TV Series High Road, A Sense Of Freedom) as Ghillie, English actor Tim McMullan (The Queen, The Woman In Black) as Tailor and Northern Ireland actor Jonathan Harden (Rise Of The Footsoldier part 2, The Good Man) as Kaiser.

Filming locations in Victoria & Abdul include cities, countries, places like Agra, India, Delhi, India, Middle East, London, England, Windsor Castle, Stevenage, Hertfordshire, Buckinghamshire, Surrey, York, North Yorkshire, Leicestershire, Isle Of Wight, UK, Balmoral Estate, Scotland, Cairngorms, Highlands, Scotland.

Overall Victoria & Abdul is a good drama film filled with drama, royalty, family, friendship, togetherness, falling outs, arguments, tongue and cheek stuff, some funny moments, some odd bizarre moments, stunning scenery in both the UK and India, rainy and cold weather, opera type music, bag pipes, a good insight in to the true story behind the friendship between Queen Victoria and Abdul Karim, outstanding performances from Judi Dench and Ali Fazal and many other things throughout the film.

So I will give Victoria & Abdul an overall rating of 3 out of 5 stars and Victoria & Abdul is worth seeing if you like drama films based on true stories like Viceroy's House, Mrs. Brown, The Queen, Lion, Ghandi, The King's Speech, The Iron Lady amongst others.

So if you get the chance to see Victoria & Abdul in the cinema then you should go and see it sooner than later.
Lovely Judi Dench
Amazing and lovely Dame Judi Dench gives a humorous and heartwarming performance as Queen Victoria. The film is a funny and inspiring one.

The pros: Director Stephen Frears knows how to handle British giants like Helen Mirren (in for example "The Queen" (2006)) and, here, Judi Dench. Indian actor Ali Fazal is truly charming and he and Dench have a great chemistry.

The cons: The film is a bit predictable and sometimes feels a little too constructed.
Deeper than your regular oldies but goldies story
Before seeing „Victoria and Abdul", I was secretly hoping the movie would be about Noisy Nation's lead singer Artur Abdul's triumphant return to stardom, including marrying the newest Mrs Estonia (whose name is Viktoria by the way). Actually, it's a 120 years old true story, about aging Queen Victoria (Judi Dench) withering away on the throne of the British empire, basically just waiting for death. Then she strikes up an unlikely friendship with a young Indian clerk named Abdul Karim (Ali Fazal) whose good spiritual influence helps her to find her way again. Also appearing: Adeel Akhtar, Eddie Izzard, Fenella Woolgar, Julian Wadham, Michael Gambon, Olivia Williams, Paul Higgins, Simon Callow, Tim Pigott-Smith. I started the review with a joke that has only a tiny probability to be understood, even if I explained it to you. Had two reasons for this: I find it quite amusing myself (I am my most important audience and critic anyway), and this kind of conceptual joke working on different levels seemed oddly appropriate considering what this movie is really about. By the latter I mean that „Victoria and Abdul" is the easiest type of movie to be overlooked, so one does not „get" it. Look at any promotional material and what do you see? Judi Dench is playing a cranky old queen striking a friendship with lower class citizen (very bad thing at her time) and finding happiness again, right? It's really easy to see only the crowd-pleasing feel- good aspect of the story which screams „royalties… they are just people too". After all, a remarkable number of such-themed movies or series has been released in the last 10-15 years alone. Not to mention "old actors playing old people" movies which is a popular "genre" too. It's also easy to be entertained or bored only by the most straightforward, crowd-pleasing part of the movie, because it works really well too. I watched it in cinema, and other people were often laughing, or wiping tears during the sadder parts. But the story is actually deeper and more varied than that, which was a pleasant surprise considering I didn't even plan to watch „V&A" in the first place, having very little interest in the private lives of British royal family and all. The more hidden part – well, maybe not hidden, but more easily overlooked part – ponders about the main existential themes in the human life. In context of the particular story I'd summarize it as follows: they study what keeps us going in life, and what keeps us going when one has achieved everything one can come up with rationally. It is interesting to see the shadow side of the power – on one hand, it gives you much more personal freedom. On the other hand, however, it creates one new forms of prison, separating from the others and making one addicted to it. It gets increasingly difficult to let go of it even if one doesn't enjoy it any more. It may be lonely „up there" alone but at the same time it frightens to break down the self-built walled garden because you don't see any alternatives either. Come to think of it, it's true about life in general too, not only having power over people. The performances are wonderful. The cast have the skills and a keen eye to play all the above-mentioned themes out in detail, whether just for laughs or philosophical digesting, depending on the viewer. The main attention is, of course, on Judi Dench essentially reprising the role from 20 years earlier („Mrs. Brown") which brought her the very first Oscar nom she had. She never tries to dominate the screen but her great natural and magnetic screen presence can't be denied, of course. Also, there's a fearless dedication to showing all the getting old thing in „gory" details, with flagging skin, curdled mimics, draggy movements and all. I don't know how much of it was just acting, but she really is pretty old, turning 83 in December. It's probably not easy to face your own mortality while acting it out on screen, in any case. Great performance overall, and awards shouldn't be out of question. It is kind of silly, after all, that thespian this legendary has gotten her only Academy Award for trivial role as Queen Elizabeth in „Shakespare in Love", where she has eight minutes of screen time. There's maybe not much mainstream attention left for Ali Fazal as the other lead, but he's actually very good too. The young Indian actor hasn't done many movies yet but he's superbly enjoyable in a role which requires a certain amount of simple mainstream ethnical humor but also sincerity, lightness and soulfulness that you couldn't probably just act without not finding in yourself first. If I can name anything wrong with „Victoria and Abdul", I would probably tone it down a little while showing the reactions of enraged royal family and court members who just can't take seeing lower-class person having so much influence over the the person with the ultimate power. There's enough visual details such as angry faces to make their feelings clear enough – they don't really have to say things like „what the hell is going on here?" all the time. In this aspect the movie can feel a little „overcooked" at times, but luckily it didn't ruin the experience for me. „V&A" is pretty great watch, both as simple entertainment and a little deeper examination of what makes us value life in general. Director Stephen Frears has given us a fair share of noteworthy movies over the 50 years he's been releasing them, including „Dangerous Liaisons", „High Fidelity", „The Queen", and „Philomena" (one of my favorite movies released in 2013, also starring Judi Dench). I say „Victoria and Abdul" is a worthy addition to his legacy.
Not entirely without redeeming features, but often looking like a mean and ludicrous farce
This is a biopic about the great great grandmother of our present Queen ("The Queen" as far as Stephen Frears's earlier film starring Helen Mirren is concerned). It also features her great grandfather Edward VII, another real and in many ways important historical figure shown in such a non-positive light that it must be seen as a profoundly wrong and impertinent portrayal (unless what is shown here is really true, which seems far from plausible to the casual viewer).

In fact, this film begins by declaring it is "mostly" telling a true story - in the context of a kind of jokey presentation style that scarcely inspires confidence. Indeed, at no time does this BBC offering directed by Frears really seek to inspire said confidence. Rather, it is cynically happy to spend half its time one step away from farce (albeit pointed and cruel farce), while parasitising on the well-known capacity of Dame Judi Dench to add gravitas and class to any role she takes on. This is indeed the case as Dench takes the heroine of our story through to her very deathbed of 1901, and to that epoch-making moment in the constant company of her real-life steadfast companion and Munshi (teacher) from Agra, Abdul Karim.

Now this is clearly an amazing story, and - to be fair - Frears at no time strays from the remarkable truth that Victoria was truly a non-racist in an era of unthinking racism. Dench's portrayal of Her Majesty makes her a sympathetic and wise figure, even if she does get to utter a number of implausible-looking lines about how fed up of being Queen she really is, how lonely, how disappointed in her family, and indeed how self-loathing. Ali Fazal is the Moslem Karim, who comes to the rescue of his Empress, endlessly loyal, though also it seems plagued mercilessly by a sexually-transmitted disease! Does Her Majesty fancy him anyway, or is she just touched by his devotion and capacity to cut through the protocol to show real feeling? No stone is left unturned in this area, but it all remains pretty decorous and at times touching.

In contrast, Frears has little mercy for the royal households at Windsor and the gorgeous Osborne House (Isle of Wight), or indeed for the aforementioned "Bertie" (the future Edward VII). The latter is portrayed very convincingly by Eddie Izzard in terms of looks, but far-from-plausibly in what the character says and does. When he meets Karim's fellow Indian servant, who has failed to make the same meteoric rise his colleague has managed and is now near death due to TB, he gets to hear an embittered and angry diatribe against the British Empire (you can just feel how much Frears loves every minute of that), before promising the would-be rebel that he is not going to make it out of the place alive! Did the future King really investigate such matters himself? Might he really be so angry and merciless and devious?

Background reading makes it clear that a (surprisingly) great deal of what is shown in the film DID INDEED actually happen, or at least is very much in the spirit of what happened, so YET AGAIN we are left with a biopic showing real people doing (some) real things that very often fails to convince. And in this case quite a lot of the blame must be laid with Director Frears. Just for starters, he should follow the basic rule that - if one really insists on simplifying centuries of Empire involving countless millions of people down to a single cliché word or concept - it is necessary to choose between "evil" and "ridiculous" and not try hopelessly to suggest both at the same time! Likewise, comedy is comedy, farce is farce and a historical film is a historical film. Films do in fact have genres for a reason.

As usual, a piece of this kind inspires a huge desire to read up further on its subject matter - which can only be a good thing. But it is also absurd in many ways that more pleasure and insight is gained from the reading than from the film inspiring that response in the first place!

That said, Dame Judi really can do no wrong to my mind, and she does indeed achieve a pretty compelling portrayal of a monarch only now being revealed, not as a one-dimensional figure, but as someone who can be a genuine source of wonder in all her multi-stranded diversity.

Perhaps that is reason enough to give "Victoria and Abdul" a watch, for all its imperfections?
A little gem starring a national treasure
Queen Victoria has now replaced Sherlock Holmes as the most featured character on British screens. According to a study by the British Film Institute, the monarch is now jointly tied with James Bond on 25 films. This is thanks to "Victoria & Abdul" (2017) which is a kind of companion piece to the earlier "Mrs Brown" (1997): both works star the inestimable Judi Dench as the British Queen in a relationship with a court outsider in an attempt to assuage her loneliness (indeed the new film mentions the friendship of the earlier film).

Like all good football matches, "Victoria & Abdul" is a game of two halves. The first half is played for laughs with Abdul (Bollywood rising star Ali Fazal) and his Indian companion Mohammed (Adeel Akhtar) acting like Laurel & Hardy or R2D2 & C3PO and the various British establishment characters presented in rather stereotypical or satirical manner.

But then the second half is much more serious with Victoria making very plain the sorrow of widowhood and the isolation of court life and struggling to make her "Munshi" (Indian Secretary) an intimate part of her life even when all around her - especially son 'Bertie' (Eddie Izzard) - are utterly opposed to the friendship and Abdul himself proves to be something of a charlatan.

It seems that this remarkable true story only became known in any detail through the relatively recent discovery of Abdul's diaries and, at a time of significant Islamophobia in the Western world, the idea that a British monarch and a Muslim clerk could have such a meaningful friendship resonates powerfully.

Director Stephen Frears and writer Lee Hall have crafted a work that manages to be both entertaining and topical in a very British movie that will have international appeal.
Bitterness Stifles Advancement
Mohammed and Abdul are plucked from their livelihoods like plush toys cradled by a claw. An insignificant coin must be presented to the Queen of England by authentic Indian men for some apparent reason. This exchange is to be done in person, and this homey pair will cross hemisphere lines to fulfill a culture quota.

Both men are aware of the atrocities that the British Empire has carried out on their homeland, but take different approaches in displaying their distaste. Mohammed is a blunt viper with little tolerance. He is beyond justified in his insults, but sleeping in the royal palace dulls his temper.

Abdul has developed a strange admiration for his abductors. He wishes to shape a hybrid history that waters down both the oppressors' actions as well as the natives' reactions. Once in the Isles, Abdul becomes enamored by colonization, and draws parallels to his own country's vivid ledger of creative borrowing.

This whimsical attitude of inclusion leads to one of the most unlikely friendships of all time. A simple glance upon her majesty, and a Hindu coin-bearer opens a door to cultural exchange that will influence the very architecture of the palace he was booked for an one night stay in.

Victoria has reached the down-slope of her storied lifespan. Every soul that she truly loved has vanished into sleep, and she is awfully tired. Once an ambitious and vicious ruler, now a pile of apathetic hunger. Napping between dishes, finally a sight crosses her plane of vision interesting enough to indulge in.

The pair exchange language, food, and art at a ferocious rate. Class struggles dissipate on a daily basis, and the marginalized subcontinent holds the attention of the most powerful woman in the world. Their spokesperson is a dangerously optimistic Muslim whose boldness irritates everyone except the one who sits on the throne.
A delightful movie
I have to be honest that when I heard about this movie, I was not expecting much but after viewing it I was completely taken by surprise. It's a delightful movie where Queen Victoria befriends an Indian and an unlikely friendship begins to form between the two of them.

The chemistry between them is a joy to watch supported by two great performances by both actors especially by Judi Dench as the Queen who really shines above the rest of the other cast who do an excellent in their supporting roles.

The flow of movie is well paced with both comedic and drama moments balanced perfectly throughout the whole movie. Kudos also to both the costume and production design where the viewer is able to admire the beauty of art in their forms.

To conclude, I would recommend this movie to anyone who is interested in a good story that contains both dramatic and humorous moments in it. Word of advice : don't take the movie seriously and don't divulge too much historical facts to be able to enjoy it.
Decent depiction of a not well known episode in Queen Victoria's life
Went to see this title, as I was quite aware of a bit about the title, although many folks may not even be aware of the history of the British Empire and the reign of Empress Victoria. The makers have taken quite a few liberties, but overall the movie has been well made.

Judi Dench does a fantastic job of Queen Victoria and the entire UK court intrigue is well constructed and shown. Ali Fazal has also done a very creditable job playing the subservient agent of the empire.

The attitudes of both the British and their subjects has been correctly typed. Nice location shoots, the interactions between Abdul and the Queen did feel right.

If you are fan of historical depictions, recommended.
Brilliant - I haven't laughed so much during a film in ages.
I wanted to see a different film, and was a reluctant viewer, but I'm so glad I got to watch this. The cinema was mostly empty, other films such as The Kingsman were fully booked. I can understand why, the plot didn't appeal to me and the cast seemed uninspiring. Its anything but.

For the first hour or so, I was in tears of laughter and joy. Dame Judy Dench is as amazing as ever and seeing Eddie Izzard was a real treat, perfectly cast as the Queen's miserable son, but it was the actor who played Abdul, who brought the show to life. His relationship with Victoria wonderful and her rebirth from a dying queen a joy to watch. There's lots of political questions this film raises, such as racism, the class system, the British Empire, not to mention Old Age and how we help our Elders. The film doesn't deal with these directly and some of them are ignored all together, but then it doesn't need to. The relationship between Victoria and Abdul gives enough pause for thought, to see where the problems lay and the mistakes of our past.

Go watch it. You won't regret it and just maybe you'll get to see a film, the rarest of rare that touches the soul. Beautiful.
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