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Review: King Richard (2021)

5 Star.png
5 Star.png

#Film, #movie review, #Cinema, #drama, #sports

David North-Martino

Dec 21, 2021

Review: King Richard (2021)

Review: King Richard (2021)

King Richard is a biographical sports drama directed by Reinaldo Marcus Green (Monsters and Men) and stars Will Smith (Ali), Aunjanue Ellis (Girls Town), Saniyya Sidney (Hidden Figures), and Demi Singleton (Goldie).

King Richard follows Richard Williams as he enacts a plan to turn his daughters, Venus and Serena, into top tennis players.

As presented in the movie, Williams doesn’t believe in obstacles. He has a plan and is willing to do anything it takes to enact it. whether besieged by setbacks or presented with new opportunities, Williams remains flexible, if not a little stubborn. Still, he’s not an overbearing parent, applying pressure where it’s needed but also wanting his children to be well educated while enjoying their childhood. Burnout and drug use by junior tournament tennis players is a real fear and he’s willing to walk away from a life-changing deal to make sure his daughters aren’t thrown to the wolves.

Will Smith shows off his acting chops here. He thoroughly becomes Richard Williams, sloughing off the Will Smith charm and charisma to fully inhabit the role. Although, sometimes a little heavy-handed, Smith gives one of the best performances of his career.

Casting is also perfect, with a heavier emphasis on Venus over Serena. As Venus is the older sister, that choice makes sense. Aunjanue Ellis and Demi Singleton shine as Venus and Serena, portraying the athletes who enjoy their training and are fully supportive of each other no matter who rises to the top first.

King Richard is a story of hope, of transcending humble beginnings, and the power of a clear vision for the future. Williams shows us the importance of a parent’s belief in their children and shows the need for applying a responsible amount of pressure to tease out success.

Although King Richard has just finished its run on HBO Max and most theaters, it’s definitely worth the cost of a rental. It’s one of the best new films of 2021 and because of that, it gets my full recommendation.

Story Doctoring:

King Richard could use a little tightening here and there, and Smith could pull back a little on his characterization. Other than that, this was one of the best films I’ve watched this year.

Rating: Five out of five stars.

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