A United Kingdom - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

A United Kingdom Reviews

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½ August 14, 2017
A great story with a phenomenal cast.
½ August 4, 2017
"A United Kingdom is an old-fashioned, historical romance that works because of the strong performances by David Oyelowo and Rosamund Pike"
DVD Movie Review: A United Kingdom
Date Viewed: June 7 2017
Directed By Amma Asante (A Way of Life and Belle)
Written By Guy Hibbert
Starring: David Oyelowo, Rosamund Pike, Terry Pheto, Vusi Kunene, Jack Davenport, Jack Lowden, Tom Felton, Charlotte Hope, Anton Lesser, Nicholas Lyndhurst, Anastasia Hille, Laura Carmichael and Jessica Oyelowo.

Despite it being too sweet and predictable, "A United Kingdom" is a well-told, true-life love story with two compelling performances from David Oyelowo (who also co-produced) and Rosamund Pike. Seretse Khama and Ruth Williams seemed like the perfect match but they had to break many barriers. Their families, the South African and British governments didn't welcome their proposed marriage so they tried everything in their power to keep them apart.

Based on a true story, "A United Kingdom" takes place in 1947 after WWII where we meet King Seretse Khama (Oyelowo), the heir to the throne of Botswana. He's currently studying law in London but everything changes when he meets a white woman named Ruth Williams (Pike). She's only an office worker but he falls in love with her anyway but they are soon greeted by protests from all angles. Both of their families, the governments of Britain and South Africa and the people of Botswana all shout their outrage and disagreement with the King being in a relationship with a white woman.

With relations between the U.K. and South Africa at a standstill, King Seretse does everything he can to stabilize his region and unite the people of Botswana but it won't be easy. Seretse also discovers that the British have allowed a U.S. mining operation to take place in the region without his consent or knowledge. Eventually the people of Botswana do warm up to Ruth but the British led by representative Alistair Canning (Jack Davenport) decide to exile the King from his own country leaving his pregnant wife behind.

King Seretse's only hope of ever returning to Botswana is to see if Churchill gets elected as U.K. Prime Minister because he promises to lift Seretse's five-year exile if he gets elected. When Churchill does get elected PM, he breaks the King's promise and he ups the ante by simply extending his exile from five years to forever. This news causes outrage from all sides including the people of Botswana and King Seretse even gets support from the American government. Battered and wounded but not willing to give in, King Seretse will not let racial intolerance get in the way of marrying the love of his life.

In addition to fine performances from Oyelowo and Pike, the movie also has rich cinematography by Sam McCurdy and the screenplay by Guy Hibbert (Eye in the Sky) is solidly enchanting. How can you not like David Oyelowo and Rosamund Pike? They're terrific performers who have seen their star powers really glow in recent years. Who knew that the patrol officer from "Derailed" and the MI7 behavioral psychologist from "Johnny English Reborn" would become top-notch actors in really great movies such as "Selma" and "Gone Girl".

"A United Kingdom" is an old-fashioned, historical romance that works because of the strong performances by David Oyelowo and Rosamund Pike.
½ August 3, 2017
great real life story i never knew about
½ August 2, 2017
3.5/5.0 stars - Grade: B-
July 31, 2017
Director Amma Asante tells the story in a straightforward way. Plot details are foreshadowed in quiet character moments that make sense once fulfilled. She uses the power of the visual medium to elevate certain scenes without going full arthouse, though there are some beautiful landscape shots of southern Africa. The scene where Pike admits her love for a black man is set within a doorway frame. Herself, along with her two parents and sister are cramped in this small space as the heated conversation climaxes. The top of the doorway creates an illusion of skewed aspect ratio to add more tension. The father proclaims he will have nothing to do with the situation, then walks towards the camera and appears to step out of the imitation frame. It's as if he is walking out of the film entirely. Fitting, as he does not reappear outside of a brief scene towards the end while the mother and sister are prominent characters throughout A United Kingdom.
½ July 31, 2017
The relationship is interesting, the political intrigue not as much. B
July 30, 2017
An inspiring story told so gracefully, it's easy to draw comparisons between this movie and "Loving" from last year.
July 24, 2017
Amazing and beautiful, A United Kingdom is a great true story about two people that fight against the circumstances to stay together. An excellent and inspiring movie with a solid direction, extraordinary cinematography and strong performances by David Oyelowo and Rosamund Pike. (4/5)
July 23, 2017
An inspiring true story about love with great performances from David Oyelowo and Rosamund Pike. Yet the movie plays it safe with its story which makes the movie uneventful.

Grade: B-
July 13, 2017
The story of two kingdoms.

It got the mixed responses from all the quarters, but I had a little doubt that did I watched the same film! Because it was much better than what I have had heard from them. It's a biographical romance- drama from the director of 'Belle'. And like the inspiring life stories of Gandhi, Mandela, Martin Luther King Jr. et cetera, this one falls in the same line. All of their life events set in different kind of geopolitical scenario, so do this man's. But it was like differences in the family, which led to geopolitics. Anyway, the history book says, all the great struggles began with some game changing incidents like in this story.

Seretse Khama, a king to be to a Southern African nation, now known as Botswana. His/this story was not filled with any violence. In fact, there were none, but political tension was at high. More or less, everything depicted in the film was like a chess game. Each opponent had their time with their pawns moved in the right direction to check their opponents. So he had to play accordingly for his nation and its people. I think he handled so well without any violence and that's why this film was merely a simple drama rather than packed with full of twist and turns and stunts.

Like any biopic, it is an inspiring film. The implementation of non- violent tool to fight back was at its best in a film I've seen. Though, he was not like the most intelligent man, fighting it on his way, but an average man with a good education and character. The film opened with his final days in London as his law practice is coming to end. Then, unexpectedly, he meets a white woman. After going out with her for a few dates, they find love for each other. The real hurdle comes between them when the Britain government tries to break their relationship because it would affect their interest in his resourceful nation in Africa and peace with their neighbours.

?Let us not allow the ugliness of this world to take our joy away from us.?

As he was banished from returning to his native, separated from his family, how he works hard to bring the peace and stability to the region, especially to come out of the British oppression was the rest of the story to focus on. An amazing film. I liked it because it was not about heroism or working under a spotlight since he comes from the royal family. His simplicity of life and approach to all the problems was uplifting. I never heard that a nation ever got its independence without spilling a drop of blood. This is the one, at least for me. I mean no guns, or any other kind of weapons, except small, small protests impacting big way. But the big sacrifices were made in other ways. That's the major reason for I love it.

Based on the book, 'Colour Bar'. The screenplay was slow, but it required to slow down to impact the atmosphere of passing time as the film spans with just important events for 4-5 years. So, assuming the film lacked depth is a misconception. Shot in both England and Botswana. The two different continents and its landscapes tell the story of its own. I mean the long distance between these two nations and distinct between the cultures, their own agenda to fight what's right for them. The initial part was like a pure romance film, and then suddenly the political tension takes the centre stage. Between the romance and politics, the narration keeps its flow without much progression in the middle section. Yet, impressive.

As for me, Seretse Khama was a much, much better role than Martin King Luther Jr. that the David Oyelowo has played. But that role was more popular as it was an American. So this film needs a big uplifted, since the film has not reached a wider audience. Felt like I'm seeing Rosamund Pike after a long time. She was excellent as Ruth. The rest of the cast in the small parts were not bad. It was an Oscar product, but no one ever mentioned that. If you are interested in history of Botswana, particularly in the time surrounding its independence, you should try it. But I think it is a must see film, one of the best films based on a king, a freedom fighter and a husband.

July 4, 2017
Excellent, well crafted, interesting movie based on true story.
½ June 28, 2017
I enjoyed this movie, they needed each other, each had the strength that the other needed. Wonderful love story & beautiful story of the strength of the people. Love conquers all,..,
June 24, 2017
I watched this as I knew my wife would like it - but it was gripping and I loved it. I can't believe I hadn't heard of this incredible story before!
June 24, 2017
An inspirational and moving true story of an interracial couple whose love for each other triumphed hate and prejudice.
June 15, 2017
As a movement against racism and hate to the interracial couples, "A United Kingdom" works very well. As a romance of its important figures it does to, but not that much. As a political movie, it is better than its romance, but of course, Rosamund Pike and David Oyelowo are astonishing and their chemistry is very fine. It coulb more honest or realistic, but in the end it's a gorgeous and beautiful movie.
May 14, 2017
Beautiful story of love.
May 10, 2017
'A United Kingdom' is a fascinating story that despite its minor issues is well told, well acted and has some terrific cinematography.
May 7, 2017
A true story. A great cast. And yet a disjointed, schmaltzy, twee movie which lacks rhythm or anything to really captivate. Patchy direction, bristling with cliche and although the performances are perfectly good, it doesn't work. Felt like the story was seized upon and the film was worked in a systematic fashion. For a film about colour - it lacked colour.
May 7, 2017
Apart from the actors and proposed story, there isn't much greatness to latch onto in A United Kingdom. This comes across as a low-risk telling of a story that must've been more riveting, passionate, and dramatic in real life. Not bad and crafted well enough, but when the safe avenue is taken with subject matter like this, it restrains the film by building a low ceiling.
Super Reviewer
May 4, 2017
Despite its great performances and the relevance of the story it wants to tell, A United Kingdom is perhaps a bit too conventional to be memorable. Full review on filmotrope. com
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