A United Kingdom

2016

Biography / Drama / Romance

49
Rotten Tomatoes Critics - Certified Fresh 83%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Upright 81%
IMDb Rating 6.8 10 5258

Synopsis


Uploaded By: FREEMAN
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March 21, 2017 at 02:12 AM

Director

Cast

Rosamund Pike as Ruth Williams
Tom Felton as Rufus Lancaster
Nicholas Rowe as Fenner Brockway
Jack Davenport as Sir Alistair Canning
720p 1080p
808.94 MB
1280*720
English
NR
24 fps
1hr 51 min
P/S 24 / 131
1.68 GB
1920*1080
English
NR
24 fps
1hr 51 min
P/S 21 / 118

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by Red-125 9 / 10

Can love triumph over prejudice?

The English film A United Kingdom (2016) was directed by Amma Asante. It's an interesting love story, based on real events. David Oyelowo plays Prince Seretse Khama, a young African man studying law in London. Rosamund Pike plays Ruth Williams, an intelligent, fun-loving civil servant. They fall in love, and we know that their marriage will be a difficult one, because of prejudice both in England and in Africa.

What we don't know is that their marriage has implications far beyond each of them. In 1947, South Africa was gearing up for its apartheid program. Bechuanaland was a British protectorate, and Seretse Khama was its rightful prince. However, South Africa borders Bechuanaland, and the South African government refused to tolerate a mixed race couple in a neighboring protectorate.

That meant that not only did Seretse and Ruth face prejudice from the people around them, but they were pawns in an international standoff in which Great Britain was willing to sacrifice them to appease South Africa. What happened next became the plot of the movie.

David Oyelowo is a superb actor. So is Rosamund Pike. Ms. Pike has 42 movie credits, but I believe the only other film in which I saw her was Pride and Prejudice (2005), in which she portrayed Jane Bennet. I reviewed that movie for IMDb, and wrote that her performance was "luminous."

Director Asante is skillful, and the acting and cinematography are wonderful. We saw the movie at the excellent Little Theatre in Rochester, NY. It won't work quite as well on the small screen, because the film has some breathtaking scenes of the African desert.

For some reason A United Kingdom has a dismal IMDb rating of 6.7. I don't understand this--it's much better than that. Find it and judge for yourself.

Reviewed by Elliot-D-George 7 / 10

★★★★ - important story well told

Seretse meets and falls in love with Ruth in 1940s London. All's well and good except he's the black heir to the throne of Botswana, and she's the white daughter of a salesman. The true story takes us between England and Botswana and shows the tension and outcry of the inhabitants of both nations, and the call for Seretse to stand down or divorce his new bride.

I knew nothing of this story, but I'm certainly glad I do now! It starts fairly weakly, there's some rather too in-your-face dialogue at the start, and the acting of the English extras is appalling - I had almost lost faith in it. But! One we move past the bog standard racism you get in these types of movies, and the drama moves to Africa, it all becomes a lot more powerful. The reaction of Seretse's people when they discover he married one of their oppressors is nerve-wracking, and his great "I love my people" speech was incredibly moving. Further complications with the British government also bring a sense of anger, disappointment and shame - brilliantly directed by Asante.

Crucially, though, the movie wouldn't have worked without great performances. Oyelowo is a terrific actor - his accent is flawless and his reactions to all the various obstacles in the way of him and his wife are subtle but powerful. I've never been a fan of Pike, but here she plays the role fantastically. The innocent victim in all this, not quite knowing what she's getting herself into, and feeling like a fish out of water, she really does well at being strong but sympathetic. The two of them together have wonderful chemistry too, you really believe in their relationship and feel for them in their struggles.

Overall, despite some dodgy writing, A United Kingdom tells an important story very well, full of emotion and complexity with great performances. Good job!

4/5

Reviewed by James Hitchcock 7 / 10

Interesting Look at a Historical Romance

"A United Kingdom" is based on the true-life relationship between Sir Seretse Khama, an African chieftain from what was then the Bechuanaland Protectorate, and a white British woman, Ruth Williams. The film implies that he was the King of Bechuanaland, but in fact no single individual ever held this position; Khama was the ruler of the Bangwatho, one of a number of tribes making up the Tswana nation, the largest ethnic group in the country. In Botswana, as Bechuanaland is now known, Khama and Ruth are today revered figures, as he was the leader of the country's independence movement and its first President when independence was achieved in 1966; unlike most other former colonies in Africa Botswana has remained a democracy ever since, and their son is the current President.

Khama's marriage to Ruth Williams (they met while he was studying in London in 1948) was highly controversial at the time. Many of Khama's own people, led by his uncle, refused to accept Ruth as their Queen. The South African government, which was just starting to introduce its policy of apartheid, objected furiously to the idea of a high-profile black leader in a neighbouring country marrying a white woman. Clement Attlee's Labour government, anxious to placate the South Africans who were threatening to leave the Commonwealth, intervened, exiling Khama from Bechuanaland and forbidding him to return. Winston Churchill, at the time leader of the Opposition, initially made sympathetic noises, but after the Conservatives were returned to power in 1951 he took an even harder line than Attlee. The situation was complicated by the discovery of diamonds in the territory; the British government, using the rift between Khama and his uncle as a pretext, threatened to revoke Bechuanaland's status as a Protectorate and declare it a Crown Colony. (The real reason was that in a Protectorate mineral rights belonged to the local people, whereas in a colony they belonged to the colonial power). One of Khama's few British allies was the Labour MP Tony Benn.

The action switches between an austere, drab post-war Britain and a bright sunlit Africa. The recreation of historical detail is well done and both the leading actors, David Oyelowo as Khama and Rosamund Pike as Ruth, are excellent. The film is an interesting look at a historical romance which made the headlines at the time but which today is largely forgotten, at least in Britain. 7/10

Some goofs. We hear a radio broadcast on the eve of Indian independence in 1947 telling us that Indians would go to bed "subjects of the Queen". Britain still had a King, George VI, in 1947. We are told that Queen Victoria made Bechuanaland a Protectorate to protect its people from "racist South Africa", but the Protectorate was created in 1885, twenty-five years before South Africa came into existence as a single nation. (In 1885 it was still a patchwork of British colonies and Boer republics). Prime Minister Attlee claims that the Presidents of South Africa, South-West Africa and the two Rhodesias were all opposed to Khama's marriage to Ruth. During Attlee's term of office (1945-51) none of these territories had a President.

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