Queen of Katwe (2016)- Directed by Mira Nair
Based on a true story, Disney’s Queen of Katwe follows Phiona (Madina Nalwanga), a young girl living in Uganda with her mother (Lupita Nyong’0). Her world completely changes when she is introduced to the game of chess by a youth worker (David Oyelowo) the film follows her rags-to-riches esque story as she fights through prejudice, self-doubt, and poverty to strive for her dream of being a chess champion. It’s a feel good film overall but definitely an emotional rollercoaster you can be laughing one minute and on the verge of tears another. I absolutely loved this film, the performances by all the cast are fantastic and it has a brilliant credit sequence at the end. Definitely go and support this film while it is out in cinemas!
Fan (2016)- Directed by Mannish Sharma
I was intrigued to watch this film after watching Mark Kermode’s favourite films of the year so far video on youtube. I was mostly interested because I saw the film starred Shah Rukh Khan who I’d previously seen in the 2001 film Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham playing both the older and the younger characters in the film. The CGI alone in this is great, both characters are believably different ages whilst also looking identical, which is impressive to pull off. Shah Rukh Khan is fantastic playing two completely different characters, both the obsessive stalking fan and the idol. The film is a bit silly, traveling all over the world (who knew you could get a train from Kings Cross, London directly to Dubrovnik, Croatia?) and featuring crazy action sequences. It doesn’t really say anything new with its analysis of fan culture but it’s definitely an enjoyable watch.
The Lovers and The Despot (2016)- Directed by Ross Adam and Robert Cannan
I was interested in the idea of this documentary after watching the trailer, it seemed like such an absurd story especially to be one that is based on real events. The basic premise is that using secretly recorded tapes of Kim Jong-il as well as interviews with some of the people involved. The documentary recounts the story of how in 1978, South Korean actress Choi Eun-hee and her ex-husband, filmmaker Shin Sang-ok were independently kidnapped by film-lover North Korean leader Kim Jong-il and were forced to make films in order to improve the North Korean film industry. The film has you hooked throughout like a real-life thriller, It explains their brainwashing, their lives as prisoners for 7 years and their amazing escape from North Korea. It is terrifying and fascinating to watch.
What have you been watching lately?