Movie review: ‘King Richard’ a stunning display of moral support

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By Isabel Whitsett

“King Richard” is inspiring and heartfelt, telling the story of a father and coach who won’t stop until his daughters achieve their maximum potential. 

With a never-say-die attitude instilled in these two prodigies from a young age, Richard Williams knew what he was doing in order to condition his daughters into believing anything is possible through hard work and dedication.

The most world renowned sister-duo to ever pick up a racquet, Venus and Serena Williams, take to the big screen in a film that is almost an exact replica of their young lives.

Three-time Golden Globe nominee and two-time NAACP Image Award winner, Will Smith, brings 2021 to a close with the best sports drama of the year.

Smith, yet again, shows mastery of his craft through his portrayal of Williams with such exemplarity, down to his mannerisms and Compton accent. If you’ve ever watched an interview of Williams, you’d know how spot on Smith is. Or, you can wait until the end of the movie to see actual clips of the outstanding duo and their father to see for yourself. 

The flamboyant attitude of their outspoken father and coach is the star of the movie. With his way of getting things done and the motivational words he gives his daughters, there’s no wonder why the tennis sister-duo succeeded when they did and became the best, most humble players in the game.

It’s clear to see just how much heart and soul Smith put into his character for this film. He takes on genuine vulnerability in order to get his character to who it needs to be — an overprotective father who only wants what’s best for his daughters as he tries to shield them from the deadly grips of stardom.

The casting for this movie is spot on. Director Reinaldo Marcus Green made sure the resemblance was uncanny, harnessing the heartwarming and endearing personalities of the tennis stars through actresses Saniyya Sidney (Venus Williams) and Demi Singleton (Serena Williams). Their characters prove themselves on and off the tennis court with such grace, style and composure.

The unique perspective this movie takes on is different from any other sports drama. Usually, the point of view is seen through the actual sports players. I think this way of doing it is genius because it highlights how important a support system is. The raw emotions portrayed reel you in and make you feel as if you’re right alongside these young prodigies and their dad on their journey to athletic fame.

Their mother, Brandi Williams (Aunjanue Ellis) is also given credit for some coaching credibility in the young athletes.

Even though all odds were stacked against them, the Williams sisters succeeded honorably with the help of their dad and his overprotective, confident attitude, hence the title “King Richard.”

This uplifting tale of two Compton girls and their father’s plan to take them to the next level as they go from the streets of Compton to the courts of Wimbledon will have you on the edge of your seat, as if you don’t already know the outcome of these famous tennis stars.

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