‘A United Kingdom’ is the true story of the romance between, heir to the throne of Bechuanaland, Seretse Khama and, London office worker, Ruth Williams. The film is a mixture of genres encompassing drama, romance and politics. The film is also the first experience I’ve had of director Amma Asante, who is much renowned for her work on her 2013 period drama ‘Belle’.
The film boasts an impressive cast with David Oyelowo and Rosamund Pike taking up the lead roles. Pike plays Williams, with at times few words which only makes her performance that bit more impressive, showcasing the emotions of a young woman caught up in a worldwide scandal. Her character here is a million miles away from maybe Pike’s most famous character, Amy Dunne, from ‘Gone Girl’. The contrast in character only further showcases just what a talent Pike is. Her onscreen husband is portrayed by Oyelowo, an actor who has really proven himself in recent years. He’s brilliant in this film, as is to be expected, with the highlight of his performance being the very powerful speeches that he delivers throughout the film. We saw what this man was capable of in a similar role in ‘Selma’ last year and he certainly hasn’t lost any of his passion for performing as he demands the audiences attention on more than one occasion. The film has a further small supporting cast including the likes of Tom Felton and Jack Davenport, all of which contribute effectively to the picture. Some performers may only have a couple of scenes in the film but their performances make these scenes well worth watching.
One of the strongest elements to this film other than the cast has to be the narrative. More and more these days we are being told important stories through film that otherwise would have been left untold. ‘A United Kingdom’ showcases the importance of telling these stories and for this we have to be grateful. I’ll admit that at times the narrative can become a little monotonous and in a few instances I found the politics a tad confusing however by the end of the film these things aren’t really problems. On a whole the political elements are explained well, which was a big relief for someone like me who doesn’t really understand even the most basic of political concepts. Furthermore, every time I began to lose interest or my attention was flagging the film would draw me straight back in with a collection of touching scenes which would remind me of the magnitude of the story I was watching, some of these moments are obvious and focused on by the director whilst others are simply gently implied but each of these scenes made the telling of this story all the more engaging.
‘A United Kingdom’ is another wonderful example of an extraordinary untold story being brought to life once more through the medium of film. From what I can tell the cast do the real life people they are playing the justice they deserve and help to make the audience feel what so many different people felt in this story. The few moments of monotony are quickly combated by the touching nature of so much of this story which truly makes this film a must see.
Rating – 8/10
Question: What is your favourite performance from David Oyelowo?
(Leave your answers in the comments section below!)
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