The true story of the friendship between Queen Victoria and her young Indian assistant Mohammed Abdul Karim is the subject of “Victoria & Abdul”, with Judi Dench and Ali Fazal, a film directed by Stephen Frears (“Florence Foster Jenkins” “Dangerous relationships”).
In 1887, as she approached the end of her life and reign, the longest in the history of the United Kingdom, Queen Victoria met Abdul Karim, a recent servant from India; At the time, India was still part of the British Empire.
Their friendship is told in Victoria & Abdul, Stephen Frears’ new film, which made Victoria’s great-great-granddaughter, Queen Elizabeth II, the main character in her 2006 feature, “The Queen”.
Victoria shook the conventions, ignoring the protests of her advisers, making Abdul an increasingly important member of her entourage. “What is the meaning of all this?” Asks a weary monarch during one of their exchanges; “Serving, Your Majesty,” replies Abdul, who is quickly elevated from servant to professor, for she asks him to teach him his language and culture. Link to download Victoria and Abdul movie will be available soon after its release or in limited bluray edition.
“I’m shocking, greedy, fat. Maybe I’m unpleasantly attached to power, but I’m all but crazy,” says the Queen incarnated by Judi Dench to her son. “Abdul has risen because of her merits. Now she’s my friend,” she concluded.
“Victoria & Abdul” marks the fifth collaboration between Judi Dench and Stephen Frears, at the cinema or for television; In the 1980s, they worked together on the drama “Saigon: Year of the Cat” and then on a piece adapted for television, “Going Gently”.
More recently, they collaborated on the dramatic musical “Madame Henderson presents” (2005) and on “Philomena” (2013), a drama recounting the investigations of a woman and a journalist in search of a missing son , Two films for which Judi Dench has been nominated for the Oscars and the Golden Globes.
Ali Fazal made himself known to the Indian public through his appearances in Hindi films, including the comedies “Baat Bann Gayi” and “Bobby Jasoos” and the romantic horror film “Khamoshiyan”, before making a cameo in The Hollywood blockbuster “Fast and Furious 7”.
Distributors, Focus Features and Universal Pictures, each unveiled their own trailer for “Victoria & Abdul”; The two promotional films have the same structure, but that of Universal, which is 16 seconds long, contains a reference to Abdul’s Indian past and the scandal caused by his status as a personal assistant in Victoria.