Movie Review: Victoria & Abdul (PG)
Set during the Victorian era, this unofficial sequel to 1997's Mrs Brown explores the unlikely real-life friendship between Queen Victoria (Judi Dench) and her Indian Muslim servant Abdul Karim (Ali Fazal).
Director Stephen Frears helms the opening beautifully, showcasing the poignant contrast between the unruly streets of India and the monarch's posh palace.
This creates much anticipation but when the two leads finally converge, the result is disappointing.
While Dench's performance is convincing, there is a distinct lack of chemistry between the pair. Their relationship progresses so quickly that it seems forced, and by the time a few squabbling ministers plot Victoria's demise, I was not invested enough to care.
The film's recreation of 19th-century England is elegant and authentic. But plot-wise, it lacks emotional depth and impact. - SAMFREY TAN - 2.5 Tick