History’s most unlikely friendship blossoms in Victoria & Abdul


Academy Award winner Judi Dench (Shakespeare in Love) reunites with Academy Award-nominated director Stephen Frears (The Queen), and returns to the role of Queen Victoria, in Universal Pictures’ heartwarming drama, Victoria & Abdul.

Watch the film exclusively at Ayala Malls Cinemas starting October 4th.

The screenplay is by Academy Award nominee Lee Hall (Billy Elliot), based on journalist Shrabani Basu’s book Victoria & Abdul: The True Story of the Queen’s Closest Confidant, which brought to light the long-hidden history of Victoria and Abdul from their own diaries and journals.

Victoria & Abdul tells the extraordinary true story of the amazing and unlikely friendship between Queen Victoria (Judi Dench) and a young clerk, Abdul Karim (Ali Fazal), who becomes her teacher, her spiritual advisor, and her devoted friend.

In 1887, Abdul travels from India to present a ceremonial medal as part of the Queen’s Golden Jubilee but surprisingly finds favor with the elderly Queen. The unprecedented and unlikely relationship causes a battle royale within the royal household, pitting the Queen against court and family. Victoria & Abdul humorously explores questions of race, religion, power, and the farce of Empire through the prism of a highly unusual and deeply moving friendship.

BAFTA Award-winning filmmaker Beeban Kidron of Cross Street Films read a newspaper article about the book in 2010 and was immediately taken with the tale. She remarks, “What intrigued me was that here was a previously untold history, a gem hidden away for over a century. It was a revelation that Queen Victoria had a very close relationship with not only a servant but a Muslim servant. The reaction within her royal household was quite telling, and relevant to what’s going on now in the world – about acknowledging tension between cultures and having open-mindedness.”

The film also stars Eddie Izzard, Adeel Akhtar, Tim Pigott-Smith, Olivia Williams, Fenella Woolgar, Paul Higgins, Robin Soans, Julian Wadham, Simon Callow, and Michael Gambon.

Victoria & Abdul is distributed in the Philippines by United International Pictures through Columbia Pictures.