A United Kingdom is a truly inspiring film. The authenticity of Africa and Britain and the apartheid taking place during that time brought a very genuine feeling to a story based on truth. Rosamund Pike & David Oyelowo’s performances were flawless and their relationship was so believable. Sometimes I struggle with Rosamund Pike after seeing her in Gone Girl because she makes me feel a little uncomfortable, or even threatened in that film! Her acting ability is proven in A United Kingdom for me as she is a completely different person, still a strong woman but not scary, thank goodness!
I knew little about South African government and the apartheid before watching the film, besides the basics. After the screening I researched the true story of the Prince of Botswana and his white British wife to compare the facts to the film. Everything, even down to costume and cultural references, was accurate to the real situation taking place in Bechuanaland.
The opening shot of the film is an extreme close up of a fountain pen scribbling on coarse, textured paper with the distinct scratching sound beneath the opening monologue. From this moment on I knew the film was, if anything, going to be picture perfect with outstanding cinematography. Thankfully, I was right and it was so much more than that: an inspirational story of a couple defying all odds and pursuing their wishes and dreams, despite the thoughts of the rest of the world around them.
Amma Asante has created an outstanding film out of a heartbreaking racial and political situation of the 1940s. I am particularly influenced by Asante as she is a British female film director, of which there are very few making feature films with theatrical releases. I hope to see more female directors in my lifetime as influential as Asante and I am excited to see what she does next!