In terms of the current film landscape, the significance of Queen Of Katwe cannot be overstated. As the backlash against tedious, white-male-centric storytelling continues to increase in volume, here we have what is essentially a hero origin story, where the hero is a young woman from Uganda, whose heroics emanate from a chess board. Moreover, it is a celebration of a real young woman and all she has actually accomplished.
The official plot summary reads as follows:
“Queen of Katwe is the colorful true story of a young girl selling corn on the streets of rural Uganda whose world rapidly changes when she is introduced to the game of chess, and, as a result of the support she receives from her family and community, is instilled with the confidence and determination she needs to pursue her dream of becoming an international chess champion.
Mira Nair is one the greatest filmmakers we have today, so to have her at the helm of this woman-centred story makes it truly exciting. Added to that is Nair’s Reluctant Fundamentalist collaborator, screenwriter William Wheeler; Academy Award winner Lupita Nyong’o, appearing here in live-action after her brilliant computer-enhanced performances in Star Wars: The Force Awakens and The Jungle Book; and the remarkable David Oyelowo (Selma). However, the trailer would suggest that the real revelation here will be Madina Nalwanga, who is new to the screen but exudes a notable natural talent.
While the trailer itself initially seems to have the air of a standard ‘triumph-over-adversity’ tale – thanks to the addition of a rousing ballad – I would urge the viewer to look beyond that and at what is actually happening in this preview footage. Listen to the dialogue, tune in to the snippets of performances, and drink in the sumptuous frames. It soon becomes clear that there is likely nothing ‘standard’ about Queen Of Katwe at all, and there is plenty of triumph to look forward to as we head toward its September 23rd release date.
Source: The Film Stage