Victoria and Abdul

First slide

Endearing historical drama in which, on the sole basis of being tall and handsome, a 24-year-old prison clerk (Ali Fazal) in Agra, India, is chosen to present a ceremonial coin to Queen Victoria (Judi Dench) during her 1887 golden jubilee. After a four-month journey in the company of a grouchy fellow countryman (Adeel Akhtar), he flouts protocol by making eye contact with the sovereign. Victoria is sufficiently charmed to make him first her servant, then her secretary and finally her instructor in Urdu. But the closer their relationship grows, the more antagonism the royal household, led by the queen's eldest son and heir, Bertie (Eddie Izzard), unleashes on the newcomer. Director Stephen Frears' adaptation of Shrabani Basu's book celebrates friendship, openness, tolerance and respect for those from different backgrounds. Possibly acceptable for older adolescents.

Watch out for: A couple of uses of profanity, at least one milder oath and about a half-dozen crude and a pair of crass terms.

Rated: A-III, adults; MPAA: PG-13

© Arlington Catholic Herald 2017