Cert PG 112mins Stars 3

Having been Oscar nominated for playing Queen Victoria in 1997’s Mrs Brown, Judi Dench reprises the role in this handsome historical comedy-drama.

It explores the ageing Empress of India’s relationship with Ali Fazal’s young Indian footman, who rises to become her spiritual advisor.

Produced by the makers of Four Weddings and Notting Hill, there’s an abundance of well-heeled folk running about grand houses in a series of comic episodes.

We watch from Abdul’s viewpoint and underneath the pageantry there’s plenty of sniping commentary smuggled into the script.

Her majesty is self pitying and morbidly obese, who feasts while Ireland and India starve. She hates her vindictive and racist children more than anyone else does.

Plus her courtiers and ministers are cowardly self serving aristocratic idiots who toady for influence.

However the script is also careful to humanise the Queen and afford her sympathy and respect, so whether you’re for or against the British Empire, there’s a lot here to enjoy.


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