“Queen of Katwe” is the best movie I have seen this year. I adored watching every wonderful minute.
A young woman from the Katwe district of Kampala in Uganda is very poor. She comes to a club run by a gifted teacher. She learns to play chess.
Chess acts as a metaphor for learning and acquiring self-mastery.
Poverty is not glorified, nor is it a mark of failure. For a very entertaining Disney movie, it’s utterly remarkable to see how human and engaging this story is.
“Queen of Katwe” has real depth.
All the performances are terrific, but newcomer Madina Nalwanga never seems outclassed as she plays Phiona, the young lead.
Lupita Nyong’o shines as Phiona’s mother. And David Oyelowo is just astonishing as the gifted teacher.
I liked the fact that there was no need for a big-name white actor. The few while people here are extras.
And Mira Nair’s direction is absolutely amazing. I am told she lives in Kampala and that may explain why everyone feels so very true.
You get to meet the real people this story is based on.
Everyone at Stratford East Picturehouse whooped, hollered, applauded and cheered, as the end credits rolled. The place was packed and I have rarely sat in such an engrossed and happy audience.
You have to see this. It’s a glorious achievement.