Victoria is Queen Victoria of England, and Abdul is Abdul Karim, a man brought over from India to serve the queen. The two formed an unusual but close friendship, depicted in a movie that is equally sweet and infuriating.
It's sweet because their friendship is so beautifully portrayed. Judi Dench reminds us why she's not just playing a Queen, but is true film royality. Her eyes light up the screen and her affection for her dear friend is palpable. I was so moved by how excited she'd get to learn everything she could about Abdul's culture, which is an attitude I wish I could see more people take today.
It's infuriating because of the opposition they faced. There was a near mutiny in her staff, outrage from her family, and an attempt to erase Abdul from history. Those scenes were so upsetting to watch and such an opposite mood from the happy scenes between the two friends.
I would have wanted more of the good side of the story. Weird for me to say, I know, but the warm fuzzies I got from those scenes are unlike anything I typically feel from films today. Yes, I generally prefer the dark and disturbing stuff, but sometimes you need a feelgood film. That's where Victoria and Abdul's strength lied.
Victoria and Abdul - \m/ \m/ \m/