Review: King Richard
4.5/5 stars ♦♦♦♦
Parents always have an idea of what they would like their kids to achieve, but very few set out a plan and go about executing that plan with as much determination as Richard Williams.
King Richard tells the story of the father of two of the greatest athletes of all time, Venus and Serena Williams, and how he trained them in their early years.
Richard was relentless in his pursuit to find his girls a coach and a proper place to play tennis.
The way King Richard explores the struggles of being black in America is different to what we see in most films.
We see how the girls being black and on a path to stardom, causes people to want in and profit off Venus and Serena, who at the time were doing something unheard of in what was predominantly a white, middle-class sport in America.
This film is technically excellent as well, the cinematography is brilliant, and there are some fantastic shots, especially in a training scene when we see Venus training as an 11-year-old and then it transitions to her as a 14-year-old, showing the passage of time in a simple way that does not feel forced.
Will Smith’s performance is incredibly powerful and one of the most moving of his career.
There is a scene where the brilliant Aunjanue Ellis who plays Oracene Price, the girls’ mother, has an argument with Richard in the most emotionally fuelled parts of the whole two and a half hour film.
This scene hits hard as it portrays the internal conflict of Oracene, whose faith battles with what she wants herself in life, and shows how dedicated she is to her children and her religion.
What struck me most about the film is how it showed the determination and elite winning mentality that were instilled in Venus and Serena, a mentality passed from their father that had been moulded through decades of hardship and struggle.
This film is about a father who pushed his children to be the absolute very best in the world at what they do, in a way that a lot of people disagreed with, but eventually which developed two of the best tennis players of all time.
It is an inspirational story of elite athletes and their journey to the top.
When the credits begin to roll, stay in your seats, as there are photos and home videos from the children’s youth featured throughout, which show how accurate the film is and how dedicated to telling the story the director, Reinaldo Marcus Green, and the rest of the fantastic production team were.
It also features clips of Venus and Serena winning their countless titles as adults, which is a perfect way to round off the film.