To experience the world, you can either travel or watch cinema. Queen of Katwe is your ticket to Uganda South Africa not only into their streets but into their hearts too. It is not the color of the skin that matters when it comes to human stories; you don’t need killer looks to woo the heart of audiences; all you need is a simple story with a true conviction. Indeed, Queen of Katwe is a biography a true story. Mira Nair – Take a Bow; you make us proud.
The film is based on Tim Crother’s book “The Queen of Katwe: A Story of Life, Chess, and One Extraordinary Girl’s Dream of Becoming a Grandmaster” converted into a screenplay by William Wheeler. Mira Nair The Director keeps it suttel without overwhelming us with any of the experience; be it their poverty, misery or victory. She makes the experience as simple as any other walk of life. The background score or the slum melody strikes the right chord into your heart without making you feel alienated. You connect instantly.
The evolving Queen is the girl Phiona living in the slums of Katwe meeting up to the day to day struggles. So much is the scarcity of the water that for months they are deprived of water to bathe their body. So much is the scarcity of food that they hardly have any food to eat. Yet what top lines the film are not these challenges but the journey of a hers from slums to going places putting herself on the global map with the World Chess Olympiads and gets herself crowned making her family, her peers, her slum, her country proud.
Phiona meets Robert a missionary who teaches children how to play chess. This is where her life begins to change, her moves are gifted, the intelligence is at the par where she can think of 8 moves ahead and plays chess at such an ease that it put others to discomfort. Robert picks it up rightly and follows the path that is unknown that takes them to the victory creating the History.
Robert wins your heart too while attempting to win the heart of the school principal seeking permissions for the slum children to participate the chess contest. Their entry in the game that would change their lives game. Robert with his persuasion overcomes Phiona’s mom’s hesitations too smoothly and gets her nod too to let the girl participate. She does and than it’s a non stop journey of success until you lose. And as they “Losing is just winning in the opposite direction”. Losing a competition evolves Phiona to a level where she gets crowned brilliantly overcoming hurdles.
Queen of Katwe rules for its cast too. Madina Nalwanga plays Phiona and roars as a Queen. David Oyelowo plays Robert, the Coach, depicting rightly to put you across in life, you need a coach, a guru, a friend it could be anybody that meets you and enlightens your path. Lupita Nyong’o plays the mother of the Queen; queen herself in the attributes that form her a great onscreen mother. Ethan another child artist who plays Benjamin is so adorable that you would fall in love with him. He performs brilliantly when he wins his game at a competition.
You must visit Queen of Katwe