Film review: Queen of Katwe by Disney (out on 21 October 2016)

Walt Disney Studios  is treating us to a fantastic movie this autumn, Queen of Katwe, which opens in the UK on the 21st October 2016. disney-queen-of-katwe

The Story

The film starring David Oyelowo, Lupita Nyong’o and newcomer Madina Nalwanga is based on the vibrant true story of a young girl from the streets of Uganda whose world rapidly changes when she is introduced to the game of chess. For 10-year-old Phiona Mutesi (Madina Nalwanga) and her family, life in the impoverished slum of Katwe in Kampala, Uganda, is a constant struggle. Her mother, Harriet (Lupita Nyong’o), is fiercely determined to take care of her family and works tirelessly selling vegetables in the market to make sure her children are fed and have a roof over their heads. When Phiona meets Robert Katende (David Oyelowo), a soccer player turned missionary who teaches local children chess, she is captivated. Chess requires a good deal of concentration, strategic thinking and risk taking, all skills which are applicable in everyday life, and Katende hopes to empower youth with the game. Phiona is impressed by the intelligence and wit the game requires and immediately shows potential. Recognizing Phiona’s natural aptitude for chess and the fighting spirit she’s inherited from her mother, Katende begins to mentor her, but Harriet is reluctant to provide any encouragement, not wanting to see her daughter disappointed. As Phiona begins to succeed in local chess competitions, Katende teaches her to read and write in order to pursue schooling. She quickly advances through the ranks in tournaments, but breaks away from her family to focus on her own life. Her mother eventually realizes that Phiona has a chance to excel and teams up with Katende to help her fulfill her extraordinary potential, escape a life of poverty and save her family.  

The Trailer


The Soundtrack

Walt Disney Studios is partnering with 15-time GRAMMY® Award-winning recording artist Alicia Keys (“Girl on Fire,” “No One”) on the Queen of Katwe. The multi-talented singer/songwriter/producer’s new original song, Back to Life, appears in the film and on the motion picture soundtrack from Walt Disney Records, which also features the buoyant score from Golden Globe® nominee Alex Heffes (“Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom,” “The Last King of Scotland”). “Back to Life” was written by Alicia Keys, Carlo Montagnese and Billy Walsh and produced by Illangelo and Keys. Here is your first look at a featurette:
The soundtrack is now available for pre-order at Amazon.  

The Verdict

Queen of Katwe is a very moving film. It deeply touched even my 10 year old son Diego who loves chess and was impressed by the determination of this fearless girl Phiona who had to defy the odds to succeed. Nothing better than this movie shows children that they have to believe in themselves to pursue something bigger in life. I highly recommend taking the children to see this film which is educational as much as entertaining. Chess lovers will watch it over and over to figure out the successful moves.   London Mums' rating: 8/10   Cast:                                           David Oyelowo, Lupita Nyong’o, Madina Nalwanga Director:                                    Mira Nair Screenplay by:                          William Wheeler Producers:                                  Lydia Dean Pilcher, John Carls Executive Producers:               Will Weiske, Troy Buder Save Save Save Save Save Save Save Save Save Save Save Save Save Save Save Save Save Save Save Save Save

About Monica Costa

Monica Costa founded London Mums in September 2006 after her son Diego’s birth together with a group of mothers who felt the need of meeting up regularly to share the challenges and joys of motherhood in metropolitan and multicultural London. London Mums is the FREE and independent peer support group for mums and mumpreneurs based in London and you can connect on Twitter @londonmums