Tuesday, 13 December 2016

A United Kingdom

By Angie Raphael

Based on a true story, A United Kingdom is about Prince Seretse Khama (David Oyelowo) from Botswana, who causes an international political commotion in the late 1940s when he marries Ruth Williams (Rosamund Pike), a white woman from London. If you are unfamiliar with the history, it is really quite shocking to see the lengths taken to stop Khama from becoming the king and to keep the deeply in love couple apart. There were a lot of issues going on at the time, particularly South Africa introducing apartheid. Writer Guy Hibbert carefully explains the political ramifications of each decision made by the protagonists and antagonists so it is never too overwhelming or difficult to follow. Director Amma Asante, who created the equally moving Belle a few years ago, also keeps the intensity consistent throughout. Olyelowo delivers some moving speeches and Pike is also very good in her staunch role, but at times their chemistry was lacking, which is disappointing given the entire story hinges on the powerful love between their characters. A United Kingdom did grow on me the more I thought about it and it really is an important story worth adapting to film.


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