'A United Kingdom' is a beautiful exploration of love, race and politics
A United Kingdom
3.5 out of 5 Stars
Director: Amma Asante
Writers: Guy Hibbert (screenplay), Susan Williams (book)
Starring: David Oyelowo, Rosamund Pike, Tom Felton
Genre: Biography, drama, romance
Rated: PG-13 for some language including racial epithets and a scene of sensuality
Recommended to: Those looking for an uplifting true story reminiscent of “Loving” and “Hidden Figures”
Synopsis: Based on a true story, 1940s London, Seretse Khama (David Oyelowo), the prince and future king of Bechuanaland, is finishing his university studies. He meets Ruth Williams (Rosamund Pike), a white woman, who he soon asks to marry him. The act causes a great stir of controversy in England as well as in Botswana.
Review: Like last year’s “Loving,” “A United Kingdom” is a true story about love. It just so happens to be about race and a government behaving badly by putting politics far ahead of individual freedom. The conflict extends beyond the traditional racism that suggests that individuals of different races should never marry. In this case it also includes the British government trying to placate South Africa’s apartheid movement by refusing to allow Khama and Williams to marry.
“A United Kingdom” showcases the talents and chemistry of David Oyelowo and Rosamund Pike. The story itself might not feel as emotionally charged as “Loving,” which was one of my favorite films from 2016, but it is a wonderful and uplifting film nonetheless. It is also an incredibly important movie in that it celebrates unrecognized heroes of the worldwide civil rights movement. These are the stories that have to potential to further the equality movement. For Khama and Williams there was no political agenda to drive them forward; they simply loved each other and wanted the right to be together. They weren’t trying to change the world and yet, somehow, they did just that.