“A United Kingdom” Review ✦✦✦✧✧

26 November, 2016

Director: Amma Asante
Screenwriter: Guy Hibbert
Director of Photography: Sam McCurdy
Cast: Rosamund Pike, David Oyelowo

Synopsis: Based on the true story of African Prince Seretse Khama and his British wife Ruth Williams, A United Kingdom depicts a time of social and political hostility after the pair’s interracial union brings to light the issue of race relations in Botswana.

A United Kingdom Review:

Aside from the somewhat yucky film title, “A United Kingdom” is a rather graceful and well-mannered biographical piece which uses its tale of injustice as shorthand for a larger political context. There’s no question that the movie is yet another race-baiting civil rights drama but its conventional set-up opens the door to a section of history that still remains relatively unexplored in the cinema of today.

“A United Kingdom” invites its viewers to assess the dark truth behind the British Empire while it uses the controversial topic of racism as a basis for historical exploration. Despite the movie’s relatively standard message and points of reference, “A United Kingdom” doesn’t simply wallow in its own self-pity as the film is more of a snapshot of an underrepresented time than a “12 Years a Slave”-style sympathy piece.

Featuring Rosamund Pike and David Oyelowo as glamourized versions of Seretse Khama and Ruth Williams, the movie hones in on a tale of injustice that’s bound to send heads spinning. Although Pike plays her role in an irritatingly quaint and dizzy manner, Oyelowo steals the show with a performance that’s as polished as his MLK moustache.

While the biting discrimination and intolerance directed towards the romantic leads feels frustratingly accurate at times, its natural coarseness helps in propping up a rather simple take on how technicalities can get in the way of romantic commitment. On the whole, director Amma Asante ensures that “A United Kingdom” is easy to slip into despite its message being about as subtle as a jackhammer.


Review Date
A United Kingdom