The Queen of Katwe Movie Review
WARNING: This is a family friendly movie. A VERY family friendly movie. Toddlers and small children were enthralled at the screening I attended. Kids (and their parents) broke out in spontaneous applause. There was no talking. However, they LOVED the snapping that the kids did in the film to show excitement or as a visual exclamation point. LOVED. They copied it right then and there in the movie house. As an adult, without a kid in a tow, I found it hilarious. As a parent who has dealt with an impressionable child, I would have been annoyed. However, we all know that they will get over it quickly and hopefully retain the story of Fiona Mutesi (Madina Nalwanga). Also be sure to check out our favorite Queen of Katwe Movie quotes!
Fiona is an uneducated young girl living in Uganda selling maize. Her story is not so different from others in her situation, except that she senses something better for herself. She finds it in the Pioneers, a chess program run by Robert Katende (David Oyelowo). Through training, she becomes highly skilled at chess and is able to travel and experience a whole different world then her village provides. Directed by Mira Nair, it focuses on the strength of Fiona and her mother, Harriet (Academy Award winner Lupita Nyong’o). The story is based on a true story and it is sincerely inspiring.
Make sure to stay for the credits. The inspiration continues when you meet the real men and women that the story is based on. That is one of the best parts of the film!
Queen of Katwe is playing in select theaters NOW! Purchase your tickets today!
“Queen of Katwe” is based on the vibrant true story of a young girl from 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. Directed by Mira Nair from a screenplay by William Wheeler, “Queen of Katwe” is produced by Lydia Dean Pilcher, p.g.a. and John Carls, p.g.a. with Will Weiske and Troy Buder serving as executive producers. The film stars Golden Globe® nominee David Oyelowo, Oscar® winner and Tony Award® nominee Lupita Nyong’o and newcomer Madina Nalwanga.
For 10-year-old Phiona Mutesi (Nalwanga) and her family, life in the impoverished slum of Katwe in Kampala, Uganda, is a constant struggle. Her mother, Harriet (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 (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. Disney’s “Queen of Katwe” will open in U.S. theaters on September 23, 2016.