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Victoria & Abdul es una película biográfica-dramática británica de 2017 dirigida por Stephen Frears y escrita por Lee Hall. La película está basada en el libro homónimo de Shrabani Basu, sobre la relación en la vida real entre la reina Victoria del Reino Unido y su sirviente musulmán indio Abdul Karim. Está protagonizada por Judi Dench, Ali Fazal, Michael Gambon, Eddie Izzard, Tim Pigott-Smith (en su último papel en el cine) y Adeel Akhtar. La película tuvo su estreno mundial en el 74º Festival de Cine de Venecia, y se estrenó en cines el 15 de septiembre de 2017 en el Reino Unido. Ha recaudado más de 65 millones de dólares en todo el mundo[1].

La película fue nominada a Mejor Diseño de Vestuario y Mejor Maquillaje y Peluquería en la 90ª edición de los Premios de la Academia, y a Mejor Actriz de Película – Musical o Comedia (para Dench) en la 75ª edición de los Globos de Oro.

Abdul Karim, un joven funcionario de prisiones de la India británica, recibe el encargo de viajar a Gran Bretaña con motivo del Jubileo de Oro de la Reina Victoria en 1887 para entregarle un mohur, una moneda de oro que se ha acuñado como muestra de agradecimiento de la India gobernada por los británicos. Abdul pertenece a una familia musulmana de la India que habla urdu.

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According to historian Carolly Erickson in The Private Life of Queen Victoria, «Putting a dark-skinned Indian very close to the level of the queen’s white servants was almost intolerable, that he should eat at the same table as them, ** that he should participate in their daily lives was seen as an outrage. «**

Did Victoria learn of the racist hostility swirling around her palace? I’m sure she did. Her assistant and private secretary Fritz Ponsonby concluded a letter, protesting Karim’s favored status, by summarizing Victoria’s assessment of the resentment in the palace: «the queen says it is racial prejudice and that we are jealous of poor Munshi.»

As for what the queen saw in Karim, beyond his background, Basu told The Telegraph , «he spoke to her as a human being and not the queen. Everyone else kept their distance from her, even her own children and this young Indian came with innocence. He spoke to her about India, her family and was there to listen to her when she complained about her own family.»

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UniversalA OSBORNE HOUSEQueen Victoria’s summer palace was also her favorite. Its Italianate style and brightness on the Isle of Wight were a contrast to the darkness and solemnity of Balmoral or Windsor. «It is impossible to imagine a more beautiful place,» the monarch said of her favorite residence.Today, its gardens, surroundings and tower can be visited, but its interior has always remained closed…until now. One of the great achievements of The Queen Victoria and Abdul has been being able to film inside. «It was what Stephen [Frears] wanted, because Osborne oozes its own essential style and veracity,» says Adam Richards, location supervisor.Walk through Osborne.

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In fact, in the UK, the film has not gone down well at all and has been accused of «whitewashing colonialism», of sweetening it. Frears avoids historical revisionism and what he does is to focus on the romantic fantasy of these two characters and to frame that fantasy he chooses a great actress, Judi Dench, and shoots in real locations, because they exist in reality and because they belong or belonged to the British crown.

In this northern Indian city that was the capital of the Mughal Empire and is today one of the main tourist destinations because of the Taj Mahal, Abdul lived working in the city jail. The prisoners in this jail wove carpets that ended up in an exhibition in England. When Queen Victoria saw them she decided she wanted two Indian servants in her entourage and that’s how Abdul ended up in Windsor.

And, because of this, Queen Victoria and Abdul did not get permission to shoot inside it scenes like the royal banquet that had to be recreated in another great hall at the Old Royal Naval College in London that was the Palace of Greenwich or Placentia in the 15th century.