Starring Will Smith with an intimate supporting cast King Richard is about the origin of the Williams sisters, two icons of tennis. The film is told through the lens of the legendary duo’s father Richard Williams and his determination to see his daughters have a better life than he did growing up.
What makes King Richard work so well is its characters. Smith and the whole cast bring them to vibrant life. There is a genuine and rich warmth to the Williams family. I loved learning about every daughter. Not just Serena and Venus are on show here director Reinaldo Marcus Green decides to give us the backgrounds of all the family. We learn how Oracene is a wonderful, supportive partner and she is a more grounded supporter of her daughters and their dreams. She is played with warmth by Aunjanue Ellis who is a brilliant scene partner to Smith’s more outlandish Richard.
There is also Jon Bernthal playing against type as Rick Macci a man who is integral to the journey of the Williams sisters. He’s soft-spoken, charming in an offbeat fashion and is a lot of fun to watch.
It’s not just about King Richard
Two of the best in the cast though are the young Williams sisters played by Saniyya Sidney and Demi Singleton. They are charming, fun and deliver a fascinating intensity when it comes to them on the court.
Speaking of the court. When it comes to the tennis action, I was on the edge of my seat. I’m not a fan of tennis, I’m not a fan of sport in general but when I care about the individuals in these matches as much as I do I was enthralled. It’s a credit to the storytelling as well as the cinematography. There is also an added sense of danger when you don’t know how the matches turn out. For me, this was down to the fact I’ve never watched a match of theirs before.
King Richard for me is an inspirational story for a lot of people out there. It’s so touching and intimate with performances that will bring you to tears. If I can recommend something to you, person reading this review is this. When you watch King Richard, go home, sit down and stick on Netflix and watch Colin in Black and White. These two stories about icons in sport and what they represent complement each other wonderfully.
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