Victoria & Abdul (PG)



Drama (2017)
112mins UK/US

Starring: Olivia Williams, Dame Judi Dench, Tim Pigott-Smith, Ali Fazal, Eddie Izzard
Director: Stephen Frears
Writer(s): Lee Hall
Listings: London | Rest of UK and Ireland

The year is 1887 and Queen Victoria is comfortably installed as Empress of India, although she has never visited the domain for fear of assassination. In Agra, two lowly men - Abdul Karim and Mohammed - are chosen by British authorities to present the monarch with a ceremonial gold coin called a mohur. They travel to Windsor Castle and receive a crash course in royal etiquette. Soon after, Abdul catches Victoria's eye and the visitor is rapidly promoted to the monarch's spiritual advisor.

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LondonNet Film Review
Victoria & Abdul (PG)

In 1997, Judi Dench beautifully captured the aching loneliness and dignity of Queen Victoria in John Madden's exquisite biographical drama, Mrs Brown. At the formidable age of 64 years young, she won Bafta and Golden Globe awards for her dazzling performance and garnered her first Oscar nomination. Undeservedly, Dench lost the golden statuette to Helen Hunt in As Good As It Gets but the following year, she emerged victorious, this time as an acid-tongued Queen Elizabeth, for Shakespeare In Love. Twenty years later, the diminutive national treasure effortlessly slips back into the regal garb of Queen Victoria for Stephen Frears' heart-warming drama torn from a long-lost page in history...

Victoria & Abdul. Copyright: Focus Features. Caption: Dame Judi Dench as Queen Victoria and Ali Fazal as Abdul Karim in Victoria & Abdul, directed by Stephen Frears. Photo: Peter Mountain. All Rights Reserved."Based on real events... mostly" declares an opening title card, raising the curtain on a comfortingly warm and cosy script by Lee Hall (Billy Elliot), who has adapted the book of the same title by Shrabani Basu. Set during the final five years of Victoria's turbulent reign, Frears' picture touches upon some of the same themes as Dench's earlier portrayal of the grief-stricken monarch, albeit with more humour. Mrs Lighter Brown, if you will. The year is 1887 and Queen Victoria (Dench) is comfortably installed as Empress of India, although she has never visited the domain for fear of assassination.

In Agra, two lowly men - Abdul Karim (Ali Fazal) and Mohammed (Adeel Akhtar) - are chosen by British authorities to present the monarch with a ceremonial gold coin called a mohur. They travel to Windsor Castle and receive a crash course in royal etiquette from groom-in-waiting Alick Yorke (Julian Wadham). Soon after, Abdul catches Victoria's eye - "I thought the tall one was terribly handsome," she coos - and the visitor is rapidly promoted to the monarch's spiritual advisor or "Munshi". A relationship of mutual appreciation blossoms between Victoria and Abdul, to the consternation of her son and heir apparent Bertie (Eddie Izzard), as well as private secretary Sir Henry Ponsonby (Tim Pigott-Smith), personal physician Dr Reid (Paul Higgins) and Prime Minister Lord Salisbury (Michael Gambon). "I say he's the brown John Brown," cruelly sneers Baroness Churchill (Olivia Williams), one of the Queen's glowering companions.

Victoria & Abdul is a bittersweet and irresistibly charming chocolate box, filled predominantly with soft emotional centres Serious discourse about the impact of the British empire in late 19th-century India is conveniently swept under the palaces' Persian rugs. Twinkly-eyed Dench is flawless, capturing the isolation and despair of her overweight, cantankerous ruler ("Everyone I've really loved has died and I just go on and on," she sobs) as well as Victoria's steely resolve when her son threatens to seize the throne by having her declared insane. Screen chemistry with Bollywood hunk Fazal is delightful and the great and the good of the British acting establishment inhabit supporting roles with plummy aplomb.

- Jo Planter

Victoria & Abdul. Copyright: Focus Features. Caption: Dame Judi Dench as Queen Victoria and Ali Fazal as Abdul Karim in Victoria & Abdul, directed by Stephen Frears. Photo: Peter Mountain. All Rights Reserved.


London Cinemas

From Friday 17th November
To Thursday 23rd November

- David Lean Cinema
- Odeon Studios
- Vue Romford
- Vue Staines
- Vue Wood Green


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Rest of UK and Irish Cinemas

Listed in alphabetical order by city/place name followed by cinema name.

From Friday 17th November
To Thursday 23rd November

- Barrow-in-Furness, Vue Barrow (Apollo)
- Basingstoke, Vue Basingstoke Festival Place
- Bedford, Vue Bedford
- Beverley, Parkway Cinema
- Bicester, Vue Bicester
- Bishop's Stortford, Rhodes Arts Complex And Bishop's Stortford Museum
- Bristol, Vue Bristol Longwell Green
- Builth Wells, Wyeside Arts Centre
- Bury, Vue Bury The Rock
- Camberley, Vue Camberley
- Cardigan, Theatr Mwldan
- Carlisle, Vue Carlisle
- Carmarthen, Vue Carmarthen (Apollo)
- Cramlington, Vue Cramlington
- Cwmbran, Vue Cwmbran
- Doncaster, Vue Doncaster
- Eastleigh, Vue Eastleigh
- Edinburgh, Vue Edinburgh Ocean Terminal
- Galashiels, Pavilion
- Gateshead, Vue Gateshead
- Glasgow, Vue Glasgow Fort
- Grays, Vue Thurrock
- Halifax, Vue Halifax
- Hamilton, Vue Hamilton
- Hawick, Heart Of Hawick, Tower Mill
- Inverness, Vue Inverness
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- Leeds, Vue Leeds The Light
- Liverpool, Philharmonic Hall
- Livingston, Vue Livingston
- Manchester, Vue Manchester Printworks
- Newbury, Vue Newbury
- Newcastle-under-Lyme, Vue Newcastle-under-Lyme
- Newport, Cineworld Isle Of Wight
- Norwich, Vue Norwich
- Oxford, Vue Oxford
- Paignton, Vue Torbay (Apollo)
- Perth, Perth Playhouse
- Plymouth, Vue Plymouth
- Portsmouth, No 6 Cinema
- Portsmouth, Vue Portsmouth
- Salford, Vue Manchester Lowry
- Scunthorpe, Vue Scunthorpe
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- St Albans, The Odyssey Cinema
- Stirling, Vue Stirling
- Stroud, Vue Stroud (Apollo)
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- Thanet, Vue Westwood Cross
- Thornton-Cleveleys, Vue Cleveleys
- Watford, Vue Watford
- Worcester, Vue Worcester
From Friday 24th November
To Thursday 30th November

- Aberdare, The Coliseum Theatre
- Andover, Odeon Andover
- Aylesbury, Odeon Aylesbury
- Ayr, Odeon Ayr
- Banbury, Odeon Banbury
- Basildon, Cineworld Basildon
- Basingstoke, Odeon Basingstoke
- Bath, Odeon Bath
- Belfast, Odeon Belfast
- Birmingham, Empire Birmingham Great Park
- Birmingham, Odeon Birmingham New Street
- Bishop's Stortford, Empire Bishop's Stortford
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- Bootle, Odeon Liverpool Switch Island
- Bournemouth, Odeon Bournemouth BH2
- Bracknell, Odeon Bracknell
- Bracknell, South Hill Park Arts Centre
- Bradford, Odeon Leeds-Bradford
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- Bromborough, Odeon Bromborough
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- Clydebank, Empire Clydebank
- Colchester, Odeon Colchester
- Coventry, Odeon Coventry
- Cramlington, Vue Cramlington
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- Hamilton, Vue Hamilton
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- Hereford, Odeon Hereford
- High Wycombe, Empire High Wycombe
- Huddersfield, Odeon Huddersfield
- Hull, Odeon Hull
- Kettering, Odeon Kettering
- Kilmarnock, Odeon Kilmarnock
- Leicester, Odeon Leicester
- Limerick, Odeon Limerick
- Lincoln, Odeon Lincoln
- Liverpool, Odeon Liverpool ONE
- Llanelli, Odeon Llanelli
- Loughborough, Odeon Loughborough
- Maidenhead, Odeon Maidenhead
- Maidstone, Odeon Maidstone
- Manchester, Odeon Manchester Great Northern
- Manchester, Odeon Trafford Centre
- Mansfield, Odeon Mansfield
- Milton Keynes, Odeon Milton Keynes Stadium
- Minehead, Regal Theatre
- Naas, Odeon Naas
- Newark, Odeon Newark
- Newbridge, Odeon Newbridge
- Northwich, Odeon Northwich
- Norwich, Odeon Norwich
- Nuneaton, Odeon Nuneaton
- Oldham, Odeon Oldham
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- Preston, Odeon Preston
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- Rochdale, Odeon Rochdale
- Salisbury, Odeon Salisbury
- Sheffield, Odeon Sheffield
- Slough, Empire Slough
- Southampton, Odeon Southampton
- Southend-on-Sea, Odeon Southend
- Stamford, Stamford Arts Centre
- Stillorgan, Odeon Stillorgan
- Stoke-on-Trent, Odeon Stoke
- Sunderland, Empire Sunderland
- Sutton Coldfield, Empire Sutton Coldfield
- Swadlincote, Odeon Swadlincote
- Swansea, Odeon Swansea
- Swindon, Empire Swindon Greenbridge
- Tamworth, Odeon Tamworth
- Taunton, Odeon Taunton
- Telford, Odeon Telford
- Trowbridge, Odeon Trowbridge
- Tunbridge Wells, Odeon Tunbridge Wells
- Wallsend, Odeon Silverlink
- Walthamstow, Empire Walthamstow
- Warrington, Odeon Warrington
- Waterford, Odeon Waterford
- West Bromwich, Odeon West Bromwich
- Weston-super-Mare, Odeon Weston-Super-Mare
- Wigan, Empire Wigan
- Wolverhampton, Light House
- Worcester, Odeon Worcester
- Wrexham, Odeon Wrexham


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