A United Kingdom, though occasionally tugging too hard on the heartstrings, especially through its soaring score, is an impassioned example of storytelling, determined to set the record straight. In highlighting the injustices of the past, the film speaks loudly about the challenges to freedom existing in the UK and further afield today. Relying heavily on electric performances from its leads, Oyelowo and Pike, both of whom sizzle on screen, A United Kingdom is historical drama at its best.
A high-stakes romantic melodrama of this nature won’t be to everyone’s tastes – its ‘feelgood’ freeze-frame ending is predictably saccharine. Yet, Asante’s take on the genre still offers a few subtle twists. In many ways, Asante’s feminine perspective is the most interesting thing about the film: she gives voice to otherwise secondary female characters.
The care that went into minute observations, as well as the intelligence of the macro view of institutionalized inequality, elevates the film above the mawkishness or dreary didacticism that characterize too many of its peers.
83 of 3 reviews