MOVIE REVIEW: A United Kingdom

The true story of the Prince of Botswana who while being educated in London falls for a white girl and sparks off a massive international argument over the marriage.  The true story of Seretse Khama and Ruth Williams who after World War 2 had ended met and fell in love.  Seretse was a black Prince of a land that was a protectorate of Great Britain, and his future was clear, that he should go back home after his education and take over the rule of his land.  Ruth and Seretse fell in love in a time where this relationship was less welcome than it is now, and through institutional racism on the part of the British Government cost Serestse the leadership and citizenship of his country.

While this film itself is not amazing in its own right and the score reflects that fact, it’s not horrible, the story is gripping enough and the performances are good enough that you will have a good enough time at the cinema if this sort of period drama is your thing.  Britain after the second World War should be a different place than it is now, but from every news report I see every night on TV it seems they haven’t moved as far forward as you would think.  Although the film is just about average in the script, it has some lovely photography, and the two main leads are great.  Why this is more important to the viewing public is that this shows that the racist attacks and general racism that has been see on the mass media since the Brexit Vote has always been there.  So, maybe, just maybe we can get our heads out of our backsides and realise we are one people, all the rest is Geography, and I’m not going to base how I feel about someone on a subject that I didn’t like in school.

In the film, rant is over, Rosamund Pike plays Ruth.  This is a little disappointing for me as I expected something more from the Gone Girl star who shocked me in that film with a really evil performance, here it’s paint by numbers, the character is barely 2 dimensional and there is little in the way of anything to write home about.  While David Oyelowo of Selma and Queen of Katwe comes and acts everyone else off the screen.  The two though have a great chemistry which I’m thankful for as if they didn’t this film would have been a pain to sit through.  I do have a major problem though with Jack Davenport who once again plays the uptight British gent, this time working for the Government to try put an end to the relationship, for the sake of all that is your career Mr. Davenport try to stretch yourself.  Are you seriously just trying to sleep walk through your career until you are on Dancing with the Stars?

Also Malfoy himself pops up as another in a long line of post Harry Potter unlikable characters, I’m barely liking him in this seasons Flash, but Tom Felton I’m sure you can do better than that Draco scowl when someone tells you something that you don’t like.

A United Kingdom should be watched but not for the story, where the Racism seems to be a character in its own right,  being talked about like Voldemort in the first few Harry Potters, the evil being that will come and tear the loving couple apart.  We need, right now more than ever, to remind ourselves that we are one race, humans, and that love is the answer.  I just really wish that it was done better than this.  It feels as though the super important message in the film overtook the need to tell the story.  We may have been better served with a documentary about this magnificent brave couple who would not give up on their love nor their countries.

I’m sorry to say that though this is average it’s not worth going to the cinema to see.  If this was on the BBC on a Sunday night I’d be there with some friends around me and I’m sure that it would feel better suited there.  A few glasses of wine, some nice mature snacks, my friends would be happy.  I’d be in the corner with some Pringles and 2 litre of Coke Zero, at 41 my maturity hasn’t peeked through yet!

Director: Amma Asante
Writer: Guy Hibbert
Stars: David Oyelowo, Rosamund Pike, Jack Davenport

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