On the 1st December 2016, Disney studios will be releasing a movie unlike any other that I have seen in some time.
Queen Of Kawte, based on the true story of Ugandan girl, Phiona Mutesi (Madalina Nalwaga). Trying to get through everyday while living in the slums and like so many others: surviving. But one fortunate day sees her finding Robert Katande (David Oyelowo) who teaches and runs what can only be described, as “The Chess Club”.
This was certainly not a movie I would have usually chosen to go and see at the cinema. There were no explosions, car chases and special effects. Just simply a great story about a girl and a chess board.
But it was not all smooth sailing for Phiona. Like most countries, a division of social classes affects people and society. Those who in the upper class, tend to look down on those with less wealth. They feel those lower than them do not deserve the same treatment. This movie proves that’s it can break all class boundaries.
But, this is a Disney movie remember. So it was slightly predictable, but still a great story if you don’t usually follow chess.
As an amateur chess player, I found it difficult to follow the moves. Not because I didn’t understand, but there was never really any focus on the chess itself. I’m not sure if this was a deliberate move to ensure the focus stayed on the characters rather than the game. It would have been nice to bee able to see all of the closing moves, especially in the main games.
Disney being Disney, you can always expect some sort of moral of the story in their movies. Usually, something to do with not giving up or overcoming adversity. However, this movie is full of one-liners and monologues. But let’s face it – this girl literally came from nothing to be a national champion. The mind of a genius stuck in the slums – a diamond in the rough. For me, the thought was, “How many of these genius kids aren’t being discovered?”
Like any Disney ending, the movie wouldn’t have been made if she lost. So it’s not really a spoiler.
I’m going to give director Mira Nair and Disney huge accolades for taking on this project. Sometimes, you have to do something different and outside your comfort zone. In order to tell a story – but not just an ordinary tale, but to send a vital message. Everyone on this planet: no matter your history, background, colour, age, or sex, we are all able to achieve great things. No one should be judged purely on these things. This movie hits those nails square on the head and drives them home in such a fashion, that even this Sci-Fi loving action junkie still really enjoyed this movie.
I will certainly be keeping an eye out for more movies by this director and my eyes are more open now to watching other movies outside my usual genre.