6.8/10
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135 user 188 critic

Victoria & Abdul (2017)

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2:29 | Trailer
Queen Victoria strikes up an unlikely friendship with a young Indian clerk named Abdul Karim.

Director:

Stephen Frears

Writers:

Lee Hall (screenplay by), Shrabani Basu (based on the book by)
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Popularity
3,477 ( 841)
Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 3 wins & 11 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Judi Dench ... Queen Victoria
Ali Fazal ... Abdul Karim
Tim Pigott-Smith ... Sir Henry Ponsonby
Eddie Izzard ... Bertie, Prince of Wales
Adeel Akhtar ... Mohammed
Michael Gambon ... Lord Salisbury
Paul Higgins ... Dr. Reid
Olivia Williams ... Lady Churchill
Fenella Woolgar ... Miss Phipps
Julian Wadham ... Alick Yorke
Robin Soans ... Arthur Bigge
Ruth McCabe ... Mrs. Tuck
Simon Callow ... Puccini
Sukh Ojla Sukh Ojla ... Mrs. Karim
Kemaal Deen-Ellis ... Ahmed
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Storyline

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.

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

An extraordinary tale of a queen and her new best friend. See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for some thematic elements and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

UK | USA

Language:

Arabic | English | Urdu | Hindi

Release Date:

6 October 2017 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Victoria y Abdul See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$21,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$158,845, 24 September 2017

Gross USA:

$22,245,070

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$65,421,267
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Judi Dench and Michael Gambon both appeared in Cranford (2007). See more »

Goofs

At the start we hear a call to prayer (adhan) with a loudspeaker which did not yet exist in 1887. See more »

Quotes

Sir Henry Ponsonby: Breakfast with the Royal Princes of Belgium. 11:00, an audience with the Sultan of Dubai, where Her Majesty will be presented with the Diamond of Oojay. Garden party where Her Majesty will receive Oscar II, King of Sweden and Norway, again, and Queen Liliuokalani.
Queen Victoria: Who on Earth is she?
Sir Henry Ponsonby: A monarch and, uh, sole Queen Regnant of the Kingdom of Hawaii, Your Majesty. Uh, she has composed a song for you on the ukulele. Uh, but we have managed to put her off. Then you will eat with the Prime Minister ...
[...]
See more »

Crazy Credits

The title doesn't appear until 16 minutes into the movie. See more »

Connections

Follows Mrs Brown (1997) See more »

Soundtracks

Whistle O'er the Lave O't
Traditional
Performed by Willie Cochrane
See more »

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User Reviews

 
This goes down a treat.
19 September 2017 | by MOscarbradleySee all my reviews

Last year it was ethnicity that dominated the Oscars and this year it could well be longevity. I recently predicted that, at the age of 91, Harry Dean Stanton could be Oscar's oldest ever Best Actor and even now there is every chance he will be posthumously nominated while Dame Judi, a mere 82, should have no worries in being a sure-fire contender for her performance as Queen Victoria in "Victoria & Abdul". It's a part she has already played in "Mrs. Brown", (losing out to Helen Hunt in "It's As Good as it Gets"), and to be fair, this is something of a walk in the park for her.

We are told the movie is 'mostly' based on actual events but I think we have to take a lot of what we see with a pinch of salt. It's certainly an entertaining picture, if a little twee and whimsical at times, but there is also a little more heft to it than meets the eye. As written by Lee Hall and directed by Stephen Frears this is no mere sentimental, historical romp. It is, of course, the story of the Queen's friendship, in the years before her death, with her Indian servant Abdul Karim, (Ali Fazal, an actor new to me), which until recently was something kept very much under wraps and which was very much opposed to by the Prime Minister, her son the Prince of Wales and the entire royal household and Hall makes this another post-Brexit movie, (I have a feeling we are going to see a lot of post-Brexit movies in the next few years).

What we have here is a film about racism and about empire and it's quite as relevant today as it was back in Victoria's time. Not that you have to take it too seriously; there's a lot of low comedy on display and Frears has assembled an outstanding cast of British character actors. Eddie Izzard is an obnoxious future king, the late Tim Piggot-Smith is quite wonderful as the toadying head of the household, Michael Gambon is the befuddled Prime Minister and Paul Higgins practically walks off with the picture as the Queen's concerned doctor; concerned, not with her health, but with the number of Indians about the place. As a piece of film-making there is, naturally, a large dose of Masterpiece Theatre on display but that, in itself, isn't such a bad thing. "Victoria & Abdul" goes down a treat.


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