King Richard in the film review: cracked biopic, successful drama

It could have been Will Smith’s great redemption: The famous actor, musician and producer – even after countless iconic roles still for many of the (only) “Fresh Prince of Bel Air” – wins his very first Oscar after a career of more than 35 years . Deserved, one must honestly admit. The actor, recently known as a Hollywood gal, excels in the drama “King Richard”, a film about the two legendary sports talents Serena (Demi Singleton) and Venus Williams (Saniyya Sidney) and their tough father and coach, Richard Williams ( Will) Smith) with a complex and emotionally charged performance that is very impressive. The feature film directed by Reinaldo Marcus Green (“We Own This City”) also knows how to please in terms of high quality and beautiful, albeit somewhat conservative, camera work.

All well and good so far, but unfortunately this is overshadowed by the actions of one man, or rather two men, who add a bitter aftertaste to the actually noble tennis biography. On the one hand, there is Will Smith’s rather stupid behavior on stage at this year’s Oscars, from which the film can probably never really detach itself. However, this has already been discussed so thoroughly and vehemently (also in our podcast) that we can only say: continue in the text. On the other hand, it is quite strange to tell a film about two so exorbitantly great legends and yet almost exclusively throw themselves at the successful man behind them – without a critical eye or any change of perspective.

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We see, matching Blu-ray and DVD release of the Oscar film (May 19, 2022), intensively on the cinema strips and reveal what the story has to offer, who likes it and who might not like it at all. A spoiler before we get started: We have a lot to complain about.

“Right out of Compton!”

The small suburb of Compton in the metropolis of Los Angeles is famous for its enormous relevance to rap culture, but also for its rampant level of crime, gang wars, and systematic poverty – especially in the late ’80s and’ 90s. In addition to world-famous characters like Snoop Dog, Dr. Dre or Kendrick Lamar also sprang from the legendary Williams family in the city of nearly 100,000 inhabitants.

After a failed marriage, Richard Williams and Oracene “Brandy” Price (Aunjanue Ellis) each married in 1980 and soon had two daughters, Serena and Venus. Although the two already have several children from their previous relationships, it is markedly different this time: There is a very special plan for the two Williams newcomers – more specifically, a 78-page career plan – to guarantee a better future.

King Richard in the film review: Two tennis legends, one man – stupid biography, successful drama (2) “/>

King Richard in the movie review: Two tennis legends, one man – crazy biopic, successful drama (2)

Source: Warner Bros. In EuroVideo Media

Brandy and Richard are avid tennis fans, a sport that even today is still largely dominated by the white, privileged upper class. That Serena and – especially – Venus are extremely talented is clear from a very early age. So what does the ambitious Williams couple do? All within the ability to guarantee the success of the two girls despite financial concerns, racial structures and lack of relationships. This leads from the run-down sports field nearby, where Richard is repeatedly beaten by a local gang after training his daughters, to the sports world’s Olympus.

The successes speak for themselves: Venus won more than 49 singles titles during her career, Serena even 73. The Williams sisters also won 24 doubles tournaments together. Both are considered to be two of the most talented and successful tennis professionals of all time – as Richard wanted, wrote and planned back in 1980.

A picture book Oscar sports history

American filmmaker Reinaldo Marcus Green does a solid job of telling a Hollywood-friendly and easily digestible sports story about the ambitions, faith and underprivileged young talents who fight to the top against all odds in “King Richard”. Oh, great! Several picture book comparisons appear – and not because director Green uses unusual visual language or impresses with great camera work. Each selected frame fulfills its purpose, skillfully. Not more or less.

Let’s continue on page 2!

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