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Victoria & Abdul #FilmReview #BriFri — 5 Comments

  1. Well, that’s a coincidence – we watched Victoria & Abdul (aka Mrs Brown with Turbans) at our village Film Club this week. It was a good film, I thought, beautifully made and well-acted, but after an hour I was fidgeting. I found the interplay between Vicky and Abdul embarrassing, and sad; if true, she must have been incredibly lonely to welcome a stranger, particularly a much younger one, into her soul in that way. I can’t get too excited about the racism and class attitudes – those were the times, so it should not surprise us – and I suspect any outsider would have been regarded with suspicion and distaste in the jealous atmosphere of the monarch’s court and household at the time.

    It seems rude not to offer you and your readers, in return, an insight to Osborne House, Victoria’s holiday home on the Isle of Wight, where some of Victoria & Abdul was filmed. Captions appear over photographs if you hover your cursor over them (doesn’t work on some mobile devices, unfortunately).

  2. I look forward to seeing this film, but the fact that Queen Victoria had a close friendship with an Indian servant towards the end of her life is well known, and not a secret. As with John Brown, all references to him in the Queen’s papers were destroyed at the end of her life, but it was well documented elsewhere, and most biographies refer to it. The author may have uncovered additional information in the Urdu journals, but I think the hype about it being a newly discovered secret is dishonest, and distorts history.

  3. I adore Judi Dench – and had heard about this story way back when (I think) when Mrs. Brown was being developed – that there were other ‘stories’ from Queen Victoria’s life that were “quieted” down in favor of the woman in black mourning her husband for the rest of her life… That version always seemed so sad to me – that someone with all the gumption and zest for life and learning and progress would be satisfied to be essentially isolated and separated from anything that interested her before Albert’s death….

    We’ve got a ton of films to get through – so I can’t wait for it.

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