Love and scandal are the best sweeteners of tea. —Henry Fielding

14 January 2018

Victoria and Abdul

Yes, apparently people make movies like this. But I'm not really sure why. I know everyone needs movies; they can't all be made just for me to enjoy. But who is a movie like this for? In the first place, Victoria and Abdul is just a retread of Mrs Brown. That movie also starred Judi Dench. So, we've already had our let's-humanize-Queen-Victoria moment. In fact, The Young Victoria (also a ridiculous film) tried this as well. Why do we need to have another one of these?

Worse yet, this let's-humanize-Queen-Victoria movie has this entirely absurd colonialist apology as its basis. The whole point of Victoria and Abdul is to show us how much this Muslim Indian man loved Queen Victoria and was loyal to her, even after she died.

What is the point of this? So this man was loyal to the woman who was in charge of the imperial power that colonized his country and enslaved his people. This is a good thing? We are supposed to be moved / pleased / charmed that this man loved Queen Victoria and that they had some sort of friendship?

This movie would still be bad, of course, even if it hated colonialism, but I am not sure I understand why this movie loves colonialism. I just don't get it.