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Victoria & Abdul

Stephen Frears (THE QUEEN) has made an amusing historical drama about the historically verified friendship between Queen Victoria and her Indian servant Abdul Karim.


After the death of her husband Albert, Queen Victoria has a series of very close friendships that are eyes with distrust in the court. The Scottish servant and confidant John Brown was already unreasonable in terms of hierarchy and etiquette, and her friendship with Indian servant Abdul Kami leads to an open rebellion. Kamil was sent to England in 1887 to hand over an Indian commemorative coin on the Queen’s 50th jubilee. The Queen liked the attractive and entertaining man and appointed him as her “Munshi”, her spiritual teacher. Munshi taught her Urdu, advised her on the establishment of the magnificent hall dedicated to India, and even spend an evening with her in her isolated island castle in Scotland.

Stephen Frears made an amusing costume drama out of this scintillating anecdote of British-Indian history which mocks the absurdity of the monarchy but never mocks the protagonists. Judy Dench is very convincing as the small, voracious, and old queen, who takes a nap in the middle of her own jubilee dinner, but doesn’t let anyone get the better of her. Abdul Karim (Ali Fazal) is harder to grasp: smooth, devoted, and a ambitious on one hand and mischievous, optimistic, and sincerely charmed by the queen on the other. Even though it might be tactical – Abdul’s subservience towards his oppressors is sometimes hard to bear. As a corrective measure, Frears also put the small, round, and grumpy Mohammed (Adeel Akhtar) by his side, who complains about the food and weather, desperately wants to return home, and curses the British imperialists at every opportunity.

Hendrike Bake

Translation: Elinor Lewy


Großbritannien 2017, 108 min
Genre: Drama, Biography, Historical Film
Director: Stephen Frears
Author: Lee Hall
Montage: Melanie Oliver
Distributor: Universal Pictures International Germany
Cast: Michael Gambon, Judi Dench, Olivia Williams, Eddie Izzard, Ali Fazal
FSK: 6
Release: 28.09.2017




  • OV Original version
  • OmU Original with German subtitles
  • OmeU Original with English subtitles

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