The trailer for Victoria & Abdul is out, and we can’t wait for September to see it in theatres. The film is based on the relationship between Queen Victoria (played by Judi Dench) and her 24-year-old servant, Abdul. This is probably the first time that an Indian actor (Ali Fazal) is playing a titular role (Abdul) in a Hollywood film, and we hope that Ali’s performance opens the doors for many more talented Indian actors.
If you want to do some background research about the story (because you are not that good at playing the waiting game), you can read Victoria & Abdul: The True Story Of Queen’s Closest Confidante which has been written by Shrabani Basu. It is said that the relationship between the queen and her servant became common knowledge during the queen’s 64-year rule. However, after her death, all evidence of their relationship was destroyed. Later, Abdul Karim’s diary was found and that is how we know about this chapter in history.
Before beginning production for the film, Ali Fazal said, “My excitement knows no bounds and yet I have to keep it all subtle. This opportunity is one of a kind and I can only hope I give my country a good reason to be proud of. Stephen Frears is a legend in himself and a beautiful man. So the experience is recorded everyday in my head, like a Polaroid snapshot. I am learning and unlearning so many things and it’s definitely a phase of progress for me. Also, this is a big step ahead for Indian cinema as well and I can proudly say that the gap is bridged.”
Ali is a fine actor who has proven his mettle in Bollywood too. Some of the films he’s starred in include Fukrey, Bobby Jasoos, Sonali Cable and Happy Bhag Jaayegi among others. Fazal has worked in theatre too, and will be seen in White Rabbit Red Rabbit, a play written by Iranian playwright, Nassim Soleimanpur. “Theatre gives me a different high. I make sure that I do a play in every three years . Theatre is like an actor’s nectar, like how cinema is a director’s medium. I return to the stage time and again to see if I am worth anything,” the actor was quoted as saying by Hindustan Times.