VICTORIA AND ABDUL is based on a work of non-fiction, of the same name, by Shirabani Basu. The book carries the subtitle: The True Story of the Queen’s Closest Confidant. The movie details the platonic relationship between Queen Victoria and one of her Indian servants Abdul Karim.
In 1887 a number of Indian servants from Agra were sent to England. Karim became a favourite of the Queen and taught her how to speak and write Urdu. Their relationship was frowned upon by members of Victoria’s family and the Royal Household. The Prince of Wales (Later Edward VII) was particularly opposed to the friendship on the grounds of class and racial differences.
Focus Features will release the British American co-production of the movie adaptation Victoria and Abdul in September. It stars Dame Judi Dench as Victoria and Ali Fazal (KHAMOSHIYAN and FAST AND FURIOUS 7) as Abdul. The theme and participation of Dame Judi suggest this movie would make a good double with MRS BROWN (1997) in which Queen Victoria has a controversial relationship with a Scottish servant known as John Brown. Maybe we have to stop thinking about the Victorian era as a time of uptight prudery, eh? But we digress…
VICTORIA AND ABDUL is a handsomely mounted costume drama about a time when British political power seemed unassailable and Victoria was a monarch who reigned over a quarter of the world’s population. Judi Dench creates a powerful and moving portrait of this iconic and fascinating historical figure. Enjoy the official trailer below.
VICTORIA AND ABDUL opens in Australia September 14.