Earth: One Amazing Day – Beautiful and Touching Reminder of the Amazing Planet – Earth!

October 12th, 2017

From BBC Earth Films, the studio that brought you Earth, comes the sequel – Earth: One Amazing Day, an astonishing journey revealing the awesome power of the natural world. Over the course of one single day, we track the sun from the highest mountains to the remotest islands to exotic jungles. Breakthroughs in filmmaking technology bring you up close with a cast of unforgettable characters. Told with humour, intimacy and a jaw-dropping sense of cinematic splendor, Earth: One Amazing Day highlights how every day is filled with more wonders than you can possibly imagine- until now. KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Jolleen M. comments, “Earth: One Amazing Day is a beautiful, informational film that makes you really appreciate Earth and know more about it. This film captures nature in all its beauty and is simply breathtaking. This film is very touching, suspenseful and pleasurable.” Rohan F. adds, “The film features amazing cinematography, stunning graphics, and the audio quality at the screening I saw was brilliant thanks to the Dolby theatre vast speaker system. It had different layers of sound played at the same time creating a very realistic vibe.” See their full reviews below.

Earth: One Amazing Day
By Jolleen Mejia, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 12

Earth: One Amazing Day is a beautiful, informational film that makes you really appreciate Earth and know more about it. This film captures nature in all its beauty and is simply breathtaking. This film is very touching, suspenseful and pleasurable. There is comedy, action, adventure, romance and non-fiction all in one film. There is something for everyone to enjoy!

This film explores all the aspects of one day on Earth. It follows the lives of different animals including iguanas, baby lizards, zebras, giraffes, lions and many more. The film shows all the struggles in nature, but also the wonderful and amazing parts. It makes you see the beauty of nature and makes you curious about what’s out there.

The people who responsible for filming this, Robin Cox, Kevin Flay and Flying Glass used their cameras to capture the beauty of Earth. Doing this is a real challenge, but they managed to capture so much detail and were able to get incredible close ups. They recorded at different angles, which makes the whole film visually pleasing and close to what it’s like if you were actually there. I also loved the narration of Jackie Chan and Robert Redford. Their voices are very mellow, blends in with the music and overall just fits perfectly for this film.

The events that capture are very cool. I especially like how the camera work shoots at different angles so you get a different perspective on the world. The film’s visuals are very colorful and intriguing. My favorite part is when the giraffes fight over the land and the ladies. I like this scene because I learned something new. I had no idea that giraffes could bend their necks so much or that they would just swing their heads around to fight. It was really amusing to see their heads swinging around everywhere, but a little sad to see that they were bleeding.

The message of this film is to acknowledge the Earth and realize how lucky we are to be here. There are so many wonderful things happening around us that we don’t notice. The film reminds us to stop and smell the roses and to make sure to protect the earth’s beauty so future generations can enjoy it as well.

I loved watching this film so much. It really touched my heart and made me realize how beautiful the Earth is, on just one amazing day. I give this film 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 3 to 18. I’m sure that everyone will enjoy this film, even adults. Definitely make sure to check it out. It opens nationwide in theaters October 6, 2017.

Earth: One Amazing Day
By Rohan D. Foxe, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic age 12

Earth: One Amazing Day is an incredible feature length documentary that is a sequel to Earth, an acclaimed movie based on Planet Earth, the famous series of BBC wildlife documentaries shown on networks and in schools worldwide.  The film features amazing cinematography, stunning graphics, and the audio quality at the screening I saw was brilliant thanks to the Dolby theatre vast speaker system. It had different layers of sound played at the same time creating a very realistic vibe.

Earth: One Amazing Day follows a huge variety of animals and the challenges they must face during a single day. It shows how animals are impacted by the rhythms of the sun and how it provides life to all creatures. It starts off early in the morning following marine iguanas. It then brings you to midday where we get an amazing view of a giant panda and her cub eating bamboo. Next, we get a view of a zebra and her foal attempting to cross a rushing river to get to where the grass will grow next. It continues telling different stories for every animal it shows.

My favorite scene is when it shows a group of bears scratching on trees to music. The scene is hilarious and is very well edited so that the bear’s movements appear to go to the music.

The documentary is narrated by Academy award-winner, Robert Redford. The pauses he leaves between his words are timed brilliantly creating a dramatic atmosphere for each tale. Earth: One Amazing Day was directed by Richard Dale, Peter Webber, and Fan Lixin. This is currently one of the biggest collaborations on a film between China and the United Kingdom. The Chinese version is voiced by Jackie Chan who is known across the world for his martial arts movies.

The music matches the scenes seamlessly. I love how they tell a short story with each animal and how it makes the viewer invested in each and every one of them. They use clips taken over the course of several days and make them appear as one scene.

The moral of this film is that there is beauty all around us that can be seen every day. We must only look around us to see it. I feel that this is an important and inspirational message to appreciate our world, this isn’t being said enough.

I give Earth: One Amazing Day 5 out of 5 stars for its unbelievable graphics and storytelling. I recommend it to children ages 6 to 18 and think that adults will also really appreciate the beauty of this documentary.

 

 

Mark Felt: The Man Who Brought Down The White House – Engaging Historical Drama

October 12th, 2017

Lifelong G-Man Mark Felt, aka “Deep Throat,” leaks information to the press that helps to uncover the Watergate scandal of 1974. KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Tristan T. comments, “While educational, offering a peek into the often hidden parts of our nations’ government, this film is also entertaining.” Kimbirly O, KIDS FIRST! Adult Juror adds, “Given this film is created from Felt’s 2006 autobiography and published a year after he revealed his identity as “Deep Throat” to Vanity Fair, the film does not deliver on the juicy details and unveiling I expected. The most appealing part of the movie is the historical retrospective of the film.” See their full reviews below.

Mark Felt: The Man Who Brought Down the White House
By Tristan T., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 14

While educational, offering a peek into the often hidden parts of our nations’ government, this film is also entertaining.  The writer/director, Peter Landesman shows authenticity while keeping us engaged. It is based on the true story about the anonymous whistle blower in the Watergate scandal from the 1970s, who we later learned was Mark Felt.

I really enjoy time-era pieces.  This is a historical drama based in the 1970s, so between the costuming and set props, it is fun to learn more about life during that time in history. 

Not surprising, one of my favorite characters is Mark Felt (Liam Neeson).  He always plays more stoic roles, where he is demanding, but deserving of respect.  It is funny to see him look older with white hair, and I did miss that he did not have any action scenes in this film. But, I also like that we catch a glimpse into his personal life too – one that is relatable, and sometimes full of conflict and pain.

There is not one particular scene that is my favorite. What I enjoyed the most is when Mark Felt had secret meetings with his colleagues Ed Miller (Tony Goldwyn) and Charlie Bates (Josh Lucas).  It was nice to see their loyalty to each other and to their work.  When learning about Watergate, this is often an unknown part of the process.

This quote from Peter Landesman speaks of why this film took so long to hit the screens. “In my worldview, events are not about history—events are about human beings. I’m fascinated by people under pressure and in crisis, and what happens to them and what they do.”  I find it interesting that this film was started in 2005 and did not come to completion until now.  This speaks to how much investigating they did for the production.

This film is rated PG-13 for language, although I didn’t find it overly profane.  I recommend this film for ages 12 to 18, provided the viewer has some understanding the Watergate scandal. Otherwise I think they will get bored.  I give it 4 out of 5 stars.  It opens October 13, 2017 in select theaters so be sure to check it out.

Mark Felt: The Man Who Brought Down the White House
By Kimbirly O., KIDS FIRST! Adult Juror

The opening of the film lead me to believe deep secrets would unfold. Mark Felt (Liam Neeson) encounters his former colleague Bill Sullivan (Tom Sizemore) and they exchange words recapping what appears to be a professional rivalry for the viewer’s benefit. This film is an historical drama about men (FBI employees) whose job is to analyze every detail and research and report discrepancies. There are times when things do not add up. Mark often comments, “The President has no power over the FBI.”

Given this film is created from Felt’s 2006 autobiography and published a year after he revealed his identity as “Deep Throat” to Vanity Fair, the film does not deliver on the juicy details and unveiling I expected. The most appealing part of the movie is the historical retrospective of the film. At times, the details are unappealing, as the characters are hard to follow. The film flows well, although it took me a few minutes to determine which characters were members of the FBI and who else was in the room. As the film moves on, the characters develop into an amazing working team. I empathized with Mark Felt throughout the film. I felt the Director could have given us more insight into the walls of the institution where Felt worked for 31 years, and whose integrity he sought to protect from the interference of the Nixon White House officials.

When J. Edgar Hoover dies and Felt is passed over for his position, L. Patrick Gray III (Marton Csokas), a close Nixon ally, replaces Hoover as head of the FBI. Mark’s integrity and hard work for more than 30 years are overlooked by the good-old-boy White House network. Leadership knows Mark is dangerous, given what he knows. When the Watergate break-in occurs, the FBI demands a 48-hour wrap and Mark knows this is the beginning of the end of the position he has served loyally and with integrity, even if he decides that spilling secrets is the best way to protect the FBI and manage his way out of an unmanageable situation.

While the office scenes are bland and the meetings with Bob Woodward (Julian Morris) in the parking garage seem contrived, there is substantial interest during sessions with Time Magazine’s reporter Sandy Smith (Bruce Greenwood), who realizes Mark Felt is breaking his tight-lipped manner as Felt finally gives way. He tells Mark, “The FBI must be terrified of you.” The characters are hard-hitting FBI employees. Their job is to serve and protect, even if it means keeping secrets to protect their peers, boss or the White House administration. For the most part, the characters are seen as positive stand-up men. It is only when Mark Felt makes a decision that  we see his character stray, yet it is portrayed with shocking beauty. This film, based on true-facts, is brilliant. Many times, I found myself wanting to research more about this era, and the real men portrayed in the film.

The movie works hard to humanize Mark Felt, his family and fellow G-men. The subplot family story is warm, while most of Mark Felt’s career interactions are harsh and direct. The film challenges the viewer’s memory of historical facts. Is he a hero or a villain? Whatever you see, there is no doubt Mark Felt is the most impactful whistle-blower in American history so far. Many times, the film appears black and white and a bit grainy. In order to capture the times, I believe this is purposeful. As with any sleuth-type film, the graininess adds to the mystery. Another sign of the times, excessive smoking. While a total turn-off to this reviewer, it was prevalent in the 70s. The historical retrospective of this dark time in American history is invaluable. As the story unfolds, I was glued to the screen. The burden and power of the American landscape is presented in contrast with dark figures who believe secrets are best kept.

This film, with very adult themes, showcases a moment in history which is almost anti-climatic. The story focuses on the Watergate break-ins of the 70s and the ways and means the White House and other organizations lived and worked with secrets. Dare we say it parallels politics today? Because of the subject matter and fine details of “who’s who” in the puzzle of facts, I recommend this only for mature teens. Many adults will find this tale riveting, especially those old enough to be aware of Nixon’s presidency in the 70s. I recommend this film for ages 16 to 18 and give it 4 out of 5 stars. This film may prompt teens to research more about Mark Felt and his place in history. Reviewed by Kimbirly O., KIDS FIRST! Adult Juror

 

 

Marshall – Sleek Legal Drama With Great Performances and Excellent Screenplay

October 10th, 2017

Young Thurgood Marshall faces one of his greatest challenges while working as a lawyer for the NAACP. Marshall travels to conservative Connecticut when wealthy socialite Eleanor Strubing accuses black chauffeur Joseph Spell of sexual assault and attempted murder. He soon teams up with Sam Friedman, a local Jewish lawyer who’s never handled a criminal case. Together, the two men build a defense while contending with racist and anti-Semitic views from those who deem Spell to be guilty. KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Benjamin P. comments, “Don’t be fooled by the snazzy vintage costumes, the real heart of Marshall’s success is its screenplay and the chemistry between its lead actors.” See his full review below.

Marshall
By Benjamin P., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 12

Marshall is a sleek legal drama with great performances from Chadwick Boseman as the title character and Josh Gad. Don’t be fooled by the snazzy vintage costumes, the real heart of Marshall’s success is its screenplay and the chemistry between its lead actors.

This film follows pioneering Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall in his earlier years as a lawyer for the NAACP. A white socialite in Greenwich, Connecticut, accuses a black man of rape and attempted murder. The NAACP believes the man, Joseph Spell, is innocent and sends Marshall to defend him. Marshall enlists local lawyer Sam Friedman (Josh Gad) whose previous track record involves tax or insurance cases. Friedman worries about his family’s safety due to the unrest the controversial trial causes. Sam and Thurgood must work together to defend Spell…and each other.

This film is very good and so is its screenplay. The touches of comedy bring a welcome balance to its serious topic and difficult history. There is an array of good lines for Boseman and Gad. Several other actors get a chance to shine as well. I appreciate that Marshall takes its subjects seriously, but doesn’t take on a dreary tone doing it. The scenes in the courtroom are intense and keep you interested in the action. As the case develops, these scenes get more and more engaging.

While Boseman is very good as Thurgood Marshall, his performance is disappointing considering how hyped his portrayal has been in the film’s ad campaign. He gives Marshall a suave personality but the script limits his ability to show off his range and really take the character on a journey. On the other hand, Josh Gad is a standout as Sam Friedman. He plays to his comedic strengths as Marshall’s sidekick while also giving a genuinely good dramatic performance as a central and evolved character. He is a nice foil to Boseman and their chemistry reminds me of a buddy cop comedy.

The lesson I take from the film is that you have to follow your moral compass even when it’s hard. Sam’s unwillingness to join the case makes sense. He is just starting out and worried that it could ruin his reputation. The fact that he does it anyway is a testament to the person Friedman must have been in real life.

I give Marshall an age rating of 14 to 18 because of some racial and offensive language and suggestive and violent content, including depictions of the alleged assault. And my verdict on Marshall? 4 out of 5 stars. Marshall opens in theaters on October 13, 2017 so go check it out.

 

 

The Gumby Movie – Timeless, Entertaining Charm

October 6th, 2017

Take a magical romp with the world’s most popular clay boy in The Gumby Movie. For the first time, you’ll enjoy this heartwarming adventure, fully re-mastered from its original film rolls. This is the complete movie, with all its scenes intact. This clay-animated masterpiece was written and directed by Gumby Creator Art Clokey and showcases Gumby, Pokey, Prickle, Goo, the Blockheads, Professor Kapp and introduces the Clayboys and singing sensation Tara. Gumby rocks out with the Clayboys for a concert benefiting local farmers. But things go awry when Gumby s arch enemies, the Blockheads, dognap his pet pooch, Lowbelly! Bad turns to worse when the Blockheads also kidnap the band…and replace them with clones! The battle between Clayboys and clones is filled with trains and planes, knights and fights, thrills and spills! True to classic Gumby adventures, The Gumby Movie takes viewers in and out of books, to Toyland, Camelot, outer space and beyond! KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Gerry O. comments, “This is the youngest of the Gumby series and is far from the best. However, even though there are some moments that could be improved on, The Gumby Movie still delivers the timeless entertaining charm that the earlier decades of the Gumby series are so famous for.” KIDS FIRST! Adult Juror, Rachael V. adds, “The movie is a well done flashback to the series and has the same goofy animation and weird storylines.” See their full reviews below.

The Gumby Movie
By Gerry O., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 15

This is the youngest of the Gumby series and is far from the best. However, even though there are some moments that could be improved on, The Gumby Movie still delivers the timeless entertaining charm that the earlier decades of the Gumby series are so famous for.

This film follows the trend of the show by concentrating on Gumby’s adventures. There are some light action scenes to keep these adventures exciting as well as a few jokes that the whole family can enjoy.

The Gumby Movie ’s plot is about Gumby and his friends attempting to stage a concert. During the concert, two investors in the audience accidentally find out that Gumby’s dog (Lowbelly) cries pearls when he listens to their music. They come up with a scheme to steal the dog and make thousands of dollars, but get discovered and Gumby and his friends have to save Lowbelly in one epic and complex adventure.

For the most part, this film really has a lot of great perks. The detail in the stop-motion clay animation really looks spectacular and mostly natural. The plot has lots of fun twists as well as quite a few references (i.e. one fighting scene contains light sabers in a ship that looks like it belongs in Star Wars) to other series that allows for a good laugh. The background soundtrack by Jerry Gerber fits the tune of the quirky cartoon well and adds a little spice to the movie as a whole. There are a few technical hiccups that can be improved on to make this film perfect. One example is the visible and obvious wires holding up some of the characters. Even though this film was made in 1995, wire removal editing tools have existed since the late 80s. At times, the animation lags quite a bit and could be sped up to make more fluid motions. Nevertheless, none of these little things ruin the watching experience, as The Gumby Movie still is a great film to watch with the family.

There are some filler scenes that don’t do much to further the plot nor add any reoccurring elements to the story. Even though they sound bad, they are enjoyable and make it feel like several separate episodes, each with a unique adventure. My favorite scene takes place towards the beginning of the run time when Pokey looks for Gumby everywhere. On his way, he passes by a slide. At the same time, two of Pokey’s friends come out of the slide and run into him. The three turn into a big clay ball and need to go to the hospital to get un-separated. The scene has quite a few made up procedures that are both funny and realistic looking, which adds to the humor. Even though this has no purpose to the story, it still provides a few good laughs and, in general, is a fun mini-story.

The Gumby Movie can be a family movie but its main purpose is being a kid’s movie. For that reason, I recommend it for ages 8 to 18. I give The Gumby Movie 4.5 out of 5 stars because it has a few technical faults here and there, but still really provides a good quality Gumby feature film.

The Gumby Movie
By Rachael V., KIDS FIRST! Adult Juror

I always love watching anything Gumby related. I remember watching Gumby when I was younger and it was always a blast. It was always quirky and weird, which is something I can really get behind. The movie is a well done flashback to the series and has the same goofy animation and weird storylines. If this is not something that you’ve grown up with, chances are you might not like this movie as much. It’s a hard style to get into if you are not watching it for nostalgia. My children were a little confused when watching this because the animation is so old school. I personally really enjoyed it and I am 26! I recommend it for ages 6 to 12 and give it 5 out of 5 stars, fully admitting that I am a sucker for nostalgia.

Victoria and Abdul – Mind-Boggling Story Revealing Racism at the Turn of the 20th Century

September 25th, 2017

Abdul Karim arrives from India to participate in Queen Victoria’s golden jubilee. The young clerk is surprised to find favor with the queen herself. As Victoria questions the constrictions of her long-held position, the two forge an unlikely and devoted alliance that her household and inner circle try to destroy. As their friendship deepens, the queen begins to see a changing world through new eyes, joyfully reclaiming her humanity. KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Samantha M. comments, “This incredible, historical film opened my eyes and made me better understand the world I live in. Given that racism is still a prevalent issue in today’s society, it was mind-boggling to see it in Britain, at the turn of the 20th century.” Lucia F. adds, “How could the Empress of the British Empire and a poor Indian clerk possibly have anything at all in common? The fact that there is much that they share is a major theme in Victoria and Abdul.”

Victoria and Abdul
By Samantha M., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 17

This incredible, historical film opened my eyes and made me better understand the world I live in. Given that racism is still a prevalent issue in today’s society, it was mind-boggling to see it in Britain, at the turn of the 20th century. I admire how this film brings the past to the present, and made me question how racism can dissipate in the future.

This film carefully documents the relationship between Queen Victoria and her beloved servant, Abdul Karim. Queen Victoria reigned in the United Kingdom from 1837 to 1901. She was the longest serving monarch in world history. In addition to being a queen, she was also the Empress of India. Because of this, Abdul Karim and his friend Mohammed are sent from India to Britain to deliver a sacred coin: the Mohur. Abdul and Mohammed believe they are only going to remain in Britain for a short period of time, but they end up going on the adventure of a lifetime.

Judi Dench, who plays Queen Victoria, exceptionally portrays a queen who is tired of her constriction. All she wants to do is have Abdul be her full-time servant, but because of his origins, Queen Victoria’s staff does not approve. Ali Fazal, who plays Abdul Karim, considers the queen a very special person and his kindness towards her is impeccable. He teaches her the Quran and shares his culture with her. As time goes on, both develop a strong friendship, which is truly heartwarming.

The setting is remarkable. I’ve never seen the Taj Mahal, Scotland or the queen’s palace. This film takes the audience to all these places. After seeing the beauty in other countries, it makes me want to travel the world. My favorite part of this film is when Queen Victoria eats with her staff. She eats very quickly and, once she finishes her food, regardless if the others are done or not, the servants take all of the food away. It’s hilarious to see people still eating their meals and have their food taken away in the blink of an eye.

The message of this film is that no race, culture or religion is subordinate to another, even though individuals are from many different backgrounds. Britain is usually portrayed as one of the most powerful countries, but not in this film. We have to learn to not categorize others as inferior because of their lifestyle. Differences make society beautiful. If we were all the same, everything would be boring.

I give this film 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it to kids ages 15 to 18 as well as adults. There are undertones of adult subject matter throughout the film. Queen Victoria is infatuated with much a younger, married man, which is why an older audience is more suitable for it. Check it out when it opens in select theaters on September 22, 2017. I guarantee you’ve never seen anything like this before.

Victoria and Abdul
By Lucia Funaro, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 18

How could the Empress of the British Empire and a poor Indian clerk possibly have anything at all in common? The fact that there is much that they share is a major theme in Victoria and Abdul.  One example is that they are both in “prison.” You first see scenes with Abdul and Queen Victoria in their native habitats: waking up, doing their jobs and, we see that they both exist in confined situations. Abdul works in an actual Indian prison, doing a very boring job and Victoria later says she is “in prison” because she cannot do what she wants to do, which is to explore the world. In one surprising scene, Victoria actually falls asleep at the table at her Golden Jubilee dinner! Abdul catches her eye and he becomes a window to the wonderfully exotic world of Indian culture.

Every British character in this story, except Victoria, is a terrible racist. The Royal staff of Queen Victoria disapproves of her friendship with Abdul and are constantly conspiring to sabotage their relationship. In contrast, Queen Victoria is fascinated by India, the languages, architecture and just about everything. She wants to explore India, but she cannot because if she does, she likely will be assassinated by the oppressed Indian people. Her son and heir Bertie (later King Edward VII) is the most hateful of all. One of the first things he does as king is to burn all evidence of his mother’s 14-year friendship with Abdul that exists among his mother’s papers and photographs.

One of the things that really stood out for me in this movie was the dialogue. Many wonderful actors are very lucky to bring life to this well-crafted screenplay. Judi Dench, as Queen Victoria, is really funny and dramatic at the same time. Ali Fazal, as Abdul, is amazing because he shows the care, love and respect the character has for the Queen. Of course, Michael Gambon is appropriately arrogant as the Prime Minister (although his distinctive voice keeps bringing Dumbledore to mind!)  Eddie Izzard, as Queen Victoria’s son Bertie, is also phenomenal as the worst villain in a movie full of them – very realistic and believable. The director Stephen Frears and the writer Lee Hall are amazing because they capture an important piece of history in an entertaining way. (When I found out Lee Hall wrote Billy Elliot, I knew this movie was going to be great.)

I give Victoria and Abdul 5 out of 5 stars because it tells the remarkable story about how two people from very different worlds come together as friends. I recommend this movie ages 13 to 18 because there are no intense moments and the plot is slightly complex. There are only funny, sweet, beautiful and some sad moments. You can see Victoria and Abdul in theaters when it opens on September 22, 2017.

Victoria and Abdul
By Benjamin P, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 12

Victoria and Abdul is a surprisingly humorous historical drama with great performances from its two main leads.

Victoria and Abdul opens in India when Abdul (Ali Fazal) is chosen to take a long voyage to England to present a special coin to Queen Victoria (Judi Dench). During the ceremony, something sparks their long, close and unusual friendship which is the subject of the film. Victoria and Abdul follows the queen in the final years of her rule. She is 81 years old and finds little happiness in her day-to-day life until Abdul arrives. Abdul teaches her how to speak and write in Urdu and soon becomes her “munshi,” a spiritual adviser. Many in the queen’s household do not approve of their friendship because of Abdul’s origins. Nevertheless, their friendship thrives.

Judi Dench plays a quite believable Queen Victoria and brings out both the stubborn and kind sides of her character. Dench really shows a range of emotions and truly brings out the personality of this historical figure. Dench makes Victoria’s loneliness so convincing that I felt her pain. Her rudeness makes sense considering every day she is followed by a selfish posse of unfaithful followers. When Abdul arrives, the kinder parts of her character come alive.

Ali Fazal portrayst a very likable Abdul, but he feels poorly developed in comparison and never really gets a chance to shine. I also have to give props to Eddie Izzard who plays Queen Victoria’s son Bertie. He is a believable villain and keeps up a terrible personality until the final frame. Despite the talented cast, this film feels disjointed. There’s too much going on and too many characters to keep up with. Victoria and Abdul never quite fully develops the relationship between the title characters and the film suffers because of it. It also tends to be melodramatic at times, especially at the end.

I recommend it for ages 13 to 18. This films talks about some subjects that could be unsettling to explain to a younger child. Little kids will probably not enjoy the film as much as tweens, teens and adults because they won’t know the history and the context. I give the film 3.5 out of 5 stars. At its core, this film is about how one friendship overcomes prejudice and racism. Victoria doesn’t care what other people think about Abdul. He is her friend and that’s all that matters.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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