Parents' Guide to

Victoria and Abdul

By Sandie Angulo Chen, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 11+

Dench is fabulous in fascinating but underdeveloped story.

Movie PG-13 2017 112 minutes
Victoria and Abdul Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 11+

Based on 5 parent reviews

age 13+

Interesting Story But Too Much Language

Surprised that Common Sense said the language was infrequent; it is not. Cursing was throughout the entire film, growing worse as the story progressed. It seems unnecessary to put in so much swearing and nonsense. This film would benefit from a profanity remover. The story was interesting, yet ended sadly. Based loosely on a true story.

This title has:

Too much swearing
age 11+

i want yo see it

a need to see this movie, for that reason i susbribe here

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (5):
Kids say (7):

Dench is extraordinary as the aging monarch, but this drama doesn't quite reveal enough about the mysterious, fascinating friendship between the queen and her Indian servant-turned-mentor. Victoria and Abdul is similar in scope and sequence to 1997's John Madden-directed Mrs. Brown, in which Dench also starred as Queen Victoria and which also involved the remarkable story of the monarch's unconventional relationship with a servant who became a beloved confidante. In some ways, Abdul is even more noteworthy than the earlier film's John Brown (Billy Connolly), because, while there are no sexual rumors about his relationship with the queen, the Indian Muslim Abdul was elevated far above the Scottish Brown. In a time when British whites overtly considered themselves superior to the black and brown citizens of their extended empire, that was extraordinary.

Fazal, a Bollywood star, is definitely appealing, but his portrayal of Abdul is a little too subdued (particularly when compared to Dench's performance) to justify how deeply the queen became attached to him. Izzard is entertaining as Bertie, the Prince of Wales, who's slightly villainous in his approach to Abdul. But director Stephen Frears introduces real questions that the script never answers, and the film depicts Abdul as far too saintly to seem real, especially considering a few unsavory things revealed about him. Ultimately this is a movie you watch to see Dench nail another performance as a former queen of England -- and she's quite riveting as the bored, grumpy, aging Victoria who finally finds someone who can cure her monarchy's monotony.

Movie Details

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