At a royal dinner, Abdul ignores the pomp to see the queen as a human being -- a plump, bored, lonely widow gobbling her food.
Their warm relationship breeds jealousy in the queen's dissolute son Bertie, Prince of Wales (Eddie Izzard, television's "Hannibal" ), and the palace staff.
I kept waiting for him to point out how little Victoria knows about the people she rules, or to tell off the rude household staff, or broach the subject of Indian independence, or just stand up for himself in some way.
Director Stephen Frears ("The Queen," "Florence Foster Jenkins") takes a lighthearted approach to this tale, finding humor in the ridiculous trappings of the monarchy and emphasizing Victoria's claustrophobic, cheerless life to explain why Abdul was so important to her.
Fans of historical films will appreciate the sumptuous costumes (especially Abdul's uniform), great houses, horses, corsets and curtseying.
- Judi Dench delivers another royal performance in 'Victoria & Abdul'Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
- 'Victoria & Abdul' Review: Judi Dench carries the timid plot on her shouldersDaily News & Analysis
- Victoria and Abdul review round-up: Judi Dench shines in an otherwise ...Firstpost
- Judi Dench puts the crown back on for uneven 'Victoria & Abdul'Madison.com
- Movie review: Judi Dench returns to royal role in charming 'Victoria and Abdul'Deseret News
- Victoria & Abdul's Dame Judi Dench: Ali Fazal is a beautiful young man, he's a ...PINKVILLA
- Judi Dench's 'Victoria' is a royal delightThe Daily Gazette
- Judi Dench on returning to a favorite role for 'Victoria and Abdul' (plus ...DeathRattleSports.com
- VICTORIA AND ABDUL (not reviewed)Santa Fe New Mexican