|Queen of Katwe film poster has that The Lion King vibe.|
"This just isn't a game, it is a way out."Queen of Katwe paints marvelous touches on desires to become bigger than improbable circumstances. On the canvas, set in Uganda, Phiona Mutesi, a young, intelligent Ugandan girl selling maize alongside her little brother to make desperate ends meet, leads this engaging biopic. Uniquely enough, showcasing continent from within, hardships and strife hold hands with love and joy, rarely seen in an African based film.
|Nakku (Lupita Nyong'o) and her daughter Phiona (Madina Nalwanga).|
|Robert (David Oyelowo) is impressed with Phiona's (Madina Nalwanga) skills and pushes her to continue playing.|
It is understandable.
Phiona hails from a predicament where women aren't to have dreams beyond finding a financially sound man. The situation is worse still. Night's ups and downs consist of receiving monies, fine clothes, and accessories as well as being systematically dumped several times. It isn't the life Phiona wants.
Moments in which Phiona is strongly defiant, wanting to compete in every chess competition she can, are intensely moving. Sure the audience is expected to believe that she is getting carried away with her forceful motivation. Yet implanted hope grows regardless.
Phiona is deserving-- deserving of every good prospect sliding in her direction.
|Nakku (Lupita Nyong'o) parting Phiona's (Madina Nalwanga) hair.|
That is an astounding accomplishment.
The "unconventional" can become the normality.
|Phiona the champ with one of her guiding lights, Robert (David Oyelowo).|
|"Are you my daughter?" Nakku asks. "Yes, I am," Phiona declares.|
However, that doesn't break away from a triumphant story that will inspire female equations worldwide. Phiona, an unlikely heroine, overcomes humungous odds by besting both boys and girls, with a beaming, wide smile and tender grace. With aide of valiant Robert and once reluctant-turned proud Nakku, Phiona cannot lose.
|Director Mira Nair and Lupita are all smiles in a filming location.|
With witty charm, comedic chops, and heartfelt sincerity, David Oyelowo is exceptional as a man who sees and honors the potential he sees in lower class pupils. Lupita Nyong'o portrays Nakku with remarkable three-dimensional tenacity. From angrily snatching her children away from Robert to making ultimate sacrifices for Phiona's happiness to utter distraught at Phiona's temporary heartbreaking decision, Nyong'o displays an incredible range of skillful performance. Awards season should knock on her door next year. As for newcomer Madina Nalwanga, she was a standout as the leading focal point. She showed extreme depth, rendering Phiona's passion, strength, and will. This may be the start of an excellent road ahead for this mesmerizing young actress.
Also must recommend staying after film is over for poignant rolling end credits and this special music video directed by Nair with surprising cameos. Such a splendid treat all around!
Let's hope that more authentic stories based in Africa receive the Hollywood greenlight.