King Richard (12A)
King Richard (12A)
Director: Reinaldo Marcus Green
Runtime: 2 hours 20 Mins
Cast: Will Smith, Aunjanue Ellis, Saniyya Sidney, Demi Singleton, Tony Goldwyn, Jon Bernthal
Synopsis: Driven by a clear vision of their future and using unconventional methods, Richard has a plan that will take Venus and Serena Williams from the streets of Compton, California to the global tennis stage as legendary icons. This profoundly moving film shows the power of family, perseverance and unwavering belief as a means to achieve the impossible and impact the world.
Based on an inspirational true story and directed by Reinaldo Marcus Green [Monsters and Men (2018), Top Boy (2011), Amend: The Fight for America (TV documentary 2021)], Warner Bros. Pictures’ King Richard follows the journey of Richard Williams, a determined father instrumental in raising two of the most extraordinarily gifted athletes of all time – Venus and Serena – who will end up changing the sport of tennis forever with thirty grand slams between them.
Will Smith lights up the screen as the flamboyant, often outspoken Richard Williams who, armed with a clear vision and a brazen, 78-page plan, is determined to write his two daughters, Venus and Serena, into history. Training on tennis courts in Compton, California, Richard shapes the girls’ unyielding commitment and keen intuition. Together, the Williams family defies seemingly insurmountable odds and the prevailing expectations laid before them.
Aunjanue Ellis [If Beale Street Could Talk (2018),TV’s Quantico 2015-17)] plays the girls’ mother, Oracene “Brandy” Williams; Saniyya Sidney [Hidden Figures (2016), Fences (2016)] stars as Venus Williams; Demi Singleton [TV’s Godfather of Harlem (2019-21)] stars as Serena Williams; with Tony Goldwyn [the Divergent series, TV’s Scandal (2012-18)] as coach Paul Cohen and Jon Bernthal [The Many Saints of Newark (2021), Ford v Ferrari (2019)] as coach Rick Macci. The ensemble also includes Andy Bean [IT Chapter Two (2019)], Kevin Dunn [Transformers (2007), HBO’s Veep (2019)] and Craig Tate [Greyhound (2020)].
Green directed King Richard from a screenplay written by Zach Baylin, and cinematography by Oscar-winning director of photography Robert Elswit [There Will Be Blood (2007)], adeptly conveys the excitement of the tennis matches and family life.
The music is by Kris Bowers [Space Jam: A New Legacy (2021), A Concerto is a Conversation (2020)] and features Beyonce performing a song, Be Alive, co-written by Dixson and Beyoncé (as Beyoncé Knowles-Carter) played during the credits.
King Richard is an immensely enjoyable and hard-hitting tale of a father totally focused on getting his daughters to the top and breaking into the privileged, expensive enclave of tennis. He lays the foundation of two stellar careers overcoming adversity and poverty in a crime-infested training on public courts in Compton.
The film follows the uplifting journey of a family whose unwavering resolve and unconditional self-belief ultimately delivers two of the world’s greatest sports legends.
King Richard transcends formula sport biopics with its refreshingly nuanced storytelling — and the towering titular performance from a mesmeric Will Smith.
Images courtesy of: Warner Bros