Movie Review – King Richard – Intense and compelling!
My Rating – 4 out of 5
Plot Summary (Storyline) – King Richard
Richard Williams: The most strongest, the most powerful, the most dangerous creature on this whole earth is a woman who knows how to think. Ain’t nothing she can’t do.Richard Williams in King Richard
King Richard is a semi-biopic, semi-dramatized version of the life of Richard Williams – father to the tennis Superstar duo – Venus and Serena Williams. Since he has produced it himself, the objectivity is largely lost and you are aware of the fact that the best parts will get highlighted well and the shortcomings and the real faults in him are not mentioned at all. What makes the film so watchable is Will Smith and Aunjanue Ellis‘ acting, which is effortless, poignant, and so very realistic! So with the expectation that the story will put forth the best parts of Richard Williams’s life and not the darker aspects, let’s jump right in.
A father of five daughters, Richard is obsessed with the tennis futures of two of his daughters – Venus and Serena. From before they were born, Richard had ‘drawn’ up a plan for the two girls – how they will play tennis at the highest levels and win Wimbledon soon. It just turned out so that these girls turned out to have such explosively supernatural talent for Tennis! Armed with a brochure about how talented his daughters are, Richard knocks on the doors of various coaches to take in his prodigious daughters. But Paul Cohen (Tony Goldwyn), while coaching Pete Sampras and John McEnroe, is coerced by Richard’s smooth-talking and agrees to take on the girls pro bono.
As the sisters’ precocious talents start blazing a trail of their own, Richard single-mindedly runs along with his plan, letting nothing come into his way. It also helps that the two girls are among the greatest athletes to have ever graced a sporting arena. The girls are obedient to their over-possessive father and barring the odd intervention from their mother, are completely overshadowed by their fathers’ towering ambition for them. Richard interferes in every aspect of their lives and their fledgling ambitions have to be thoroughly molded to Richard’s plan. In this overbearing scenario, Richard manages to be lovable and likable, though at times typically frustrating. Since the narrative is the control version of Richard’s life, that’s all we see.
Conclusion – Movie Review of King Richard
Now, as I have written at the beginning, the performances of its actors are the movies’ strongest suit. That being said, a movie about a sport that cannot glorify the sports scenes involved, is a major failure. All the scenes where tennis is shown are surprisingly flat and rarely evoke the excitement so common in great sports films. Ellis matches Will Smith’s acting chops extremely well, though the scope afforded her is considerably less than that of Will Smith. Saniyya and Demi have both done a commendable job, despite their young ages. Above all, Will Smith puts in a commanding performance, which might even get him an Oscar! Though, I personally feel he was better in ‘Pursuit of Happiness’.
A must-see for the acting masterclass by both Will Smith and Aunjanue Ellis’, this is not to be missed!
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