Victoria & Abdul | 2017 | PG-13 | - 2.2.5
Set in the late 1880s: A platonic relationship develops between Queen Victoria (Judi Dench) and an Indian man (Ali Fazal) and the film tracks the turmoil this relationship caused in the royal house, especially when the elderly queen appointed him as her personal confidant. Also with Tim Pigott-Smith, Eddie Izzard, Adeel Akhtar, Michael Gambon and Paul Higgins. Directed by Stephen Frears. Several lines of dialogue are spoken in Hindi with English subtitles and a few lines are spoken in Urdu with no subtitles but translated. [1:51]
- Several paintings and sculptures are seen that reveal bare breasts.
► A doctor examines a man's genitals (we do not see flesh) and we understand that he is riddled with gonorrhea. A man examines a woman wearing a burka (she opens a small gap in the fabric to reveal her mouth and she sticks out her tongue). A man kisses a woman's foot in a couple of scenes (it is not a sexual gesture).
► A man is described as a bigamist (he is not).
- Several men barge into a home and remove items and the two women inside; they make a pile of the items and set them on fire as one man holds a man back and the women scream. A man grabs another man and shoves him against a wall in anger, and then grabs his throat to choke him. A woman throws items off her desk in anger.
► A man bumps into a British soldier in a crowded marketplace and the soldier calls him an idiot. A man makes eye contact with the Queen and another man yells at him as they leave the room. A man pulls the emergency brake on a train and it screeches to a halt, throwing passengers around (we do not see injuries).
► A man coughs up blood and we see blood on his handkerchief. A woman collapses in a hallway and we see her in her bed and very ill; we hear wheezing as she breathes and she takes her last breath, and we then see her laid in her bed surrounded by lilies. We understand that a man has died and we see a man and a woman at a grave site.
► A woman yells at other women in a few scenes. A woman yells at men in a few scenes. A woman is told that others would have her labeled "insane." We read that in 1887 Britain had ruled India for 29 years. We hear about a battle where Muslim fighters killed many British soldiers. We hear that bullets were smeared with pig fat to anger Muslims. A woman grieves over the death of her husband. A man says that a ruler was overthrown by his son. A man says that a woman died in child birth. A man tells another man that he will see to it that the man will die in England (the man is from India). A woman says that she is afraid of death. A woman tells a man, "I'm not going to eat you." A man says, "The tall chap had an accident with an elephant" (we do not see any injuries or the accident). A man says of British people, "They eat pig's blood and the brains of sheep." A man says, "We're gonna die" because of cold temperatures. A man says, "I hate Scotland." A woman says, "Everyone I have really loved has died" as she cries. A woman describes a man as her spiritual teacher. A man says, "I am dying here." A man tells another man that someone will, "Chop your bloody [anatomical terms deleted] off." We read that a man died in 1909. A doctor questions a woman about her "movements" (her bowel movements) and she declares that there have been none; she later writes a letter where she describes having had a successful "movement."
► A woman is shown to be in need of assistance to get out of bed (two women lift her up and stand her on her feet each morning). A woman dribbles soup on her chin while eating (she wipes it off). A woman eats very quickly during a formal dinner with many guests.
- At least 1 F-word (somewhat muffled), 4 scatological terms, 2 anatomical terms, 17 mild obscenities, name-calling (idiot, barbarians, barbaric, oppressors, stupid bloody idiot, exploiters, stupid aristocratic fools, vain, complete embarrassment, low-born impostor, fool, fat, lame, impotent, the little fat one, complete bloody idiot, sodding mess, dirty stinking bottom hole), exclamations (goodness, shut-up), 9 religious exclamations (e.g. Jesus Christ, Jesus H. Christ, For God's Sake, Oh God, Oh My God, What The Devil, Good God).
- A woman drinks a glass of whisky, people drink whisky in servants' quarters, people drink champagne, and we see a decanter of whisky on a woman's desk. A man smokes a cigarette in an office, and song lyrics refer to tobacco and snuff.
- Royalty, oppression, pomp and circumstance, Islam, India, aristocracy, loneliness, vanity, jealousy, adventures, mutiny, Muslim uprising, infertility, treason, disappointment.
- Friendships can grow from the most unlikely circumstances.
Be aware that while we do our best to avoid spoilers it is impossible to disguise all details and some may reveal crucial plot elements.
We've gone through several editorial changes since we started covering films in 1992 and older reviews are not as complete & accurate as recent ones; we plan to revisit and correct older reviews as resources and time permits.
Our ratings and reviews are based on the theatrically-released versions of films; on video there are often Unrated, Special, Director's Cut or Extended versions, (usually accurately labelled but sometimes mislabeled) released that contain additional content, which we did not review.
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