Another chance to see the extraordinary true story of an unexpected friendship in the later years of Queen Victoria's (Judi Dench) remarkable rule.
When Abdul Karim (Ali Fazal), a young clerk, travels from India to participate in the Queen's Golden Jubilee, he is surprised to find favour with the Queen herself. As the Queen questions the constrictions of her long-held position, the two forge an unlikely and devoted alliance with a loyalty to one another that her household and inner circle all attempt to destroy. As the friendship deepens, the Queen begins to see a changing world through new eyes and joyfully reclaims her humanity.
It was on a 2003 family trip to the Isle of Wight’s Osborne House that Indian journalist Shrabani Basu wandered through the house’s Indian wing, and noticed several portraits and a bust of an Indian servant called Abdul Karim, and noted that “he did not look like a servant”. In a project that spanned around five years and three countries, Basu slowly uncovered the story of Victoria and Abdul - a 24-year old former Indian Muslim clerk who had been granted as a ‘Golden Jubilee gift’ to the Queen, and ended up becoming her closest confidante until she died. From the director of ‘Philomena’ and ‘Florence Foster Jenkins’.