A United Kingdom tells a story of Prince Seretse Khama of Botswana causes an international stir when he marries a white woman from London in the late 1940s.
Going into A United Kingdom, I knew nothing of the topic that the film covered but did my best to research as much as I could beforehand. I read the novel in which the film was based off by Susan Williams called ‘Colour Bar,’ which was most informative and filled in any gaps the film couldn’t cover.
Though A United Kingdom seems to start as a typical period romance, it certainly proves not to be. What is most of note and interest is the reaction of David Oyelowo’s Serete’s people upon discovering his marriage to a white woman, an English woman, an oppressor, is heart breaking for them. His speech to them, begging for them to understand, was one of the most memorable parts of the film and was truly moving.
The film itself wouldn’t have worked as well as it did without powerfully emotional performances from both Oyelowo, who’s reactions to the situations around him are subtle and fully of strength, and Rosamund Pike, who’s already disturbed me beyond repair from her Academy Award nominated performance in 2014′s Gone Girl and causing me to never see her the same again. Their chemistry is believable and clear throughout the film, making you feel for them in their struggles. Tom Felton, however, is unfortunately completely forgettable in his limited scenes and Jack Davenport makes more of an impact, though is much overpowered, much like Felton, by the performances by the leads of the film.
Despite a few weaker points in the writing, it’s an extremely important story begging to be told.