Academy Award winner Judi Dench (Shakespeare in Love) reunites with Academy Award-nominated director Stephen Frears (The Queen), and returns to the role of Queen Victoria, in Universal Pictures’ heartwarming drama, Victoria & Abdul.
(Check out the new trailer of Victoria & Abdul above and watch the film exclusively at Ayala Malls Cinemas starting October 4th.)
The screenplay is by Academy Award nominee Lee Hall (Billy Elliot), based on journalist Shrabani Basu’s book Victoria & Abdul: The True Story of the Queen’s Closest Confidant, which brought to light the long-hidden history of Victoria and Abdul from their own diaries and journals.
Victoria & Abdul tells the extraordinary true story of the amazing and unlikely friendship between Queen Victoria (Judi Dench) and a young clerk, Abdul Karim (Ali Fazal), who becomes her teacher, her spiritual advisor, and her devoted friend.
In 1887, Abdul travels from India to present a ceremonial medal as part of the Queen’s Golden Jubilee but surprisingly finds favor with the elderly Queen. The unprecedented and unlikely relationship causes a battle royale within the royal household, pitting the Queen against court and family. Victoria & Abdul humorously explores questions of race, religion, power, and the farce of Empire through the prism of a highly unusual and deeply moving friendship.
BAFTA Award-winning filmmaker Beeban Kidron of Cross Street Films read a newspaper article about the book in 2010 and was immediately taken with the tale. She remarks, “What intrigued me was that here was a previously untold history, a gem hidden away for over a century. It was a revelation that Queen Victoria had a very close relationship with not only a servant but a Muslim servant. The reaction within her royal household was quite telling, and relevant to what’s going on now in the world – about acknowledging tension between cultures and having open-mindedness.”
The film also stars Eddie Izzard, Adeel Akhtar, Tim Pigott-Smith, Olivia Williams, Fenella Woolgar, Paul Higgins, Robin Soans, Julian Wadham, Simon Callow, and Michael Gambon.
Victoria & Abdul is distributed in the Philippines by United International Pictures through Columbia Pictures.