Queen of Katwe (2016)

I first tried to watch Queen of Katwe on a plane, but encountered video syncing errors and so I ended up watching Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children (2016) instead.

Phiona Mutesi (Madina Nalwanga)

In any case, the movie follows Phiona Mutesi, a girl living in Katwe (a region in Kampala, Uganda), who learns to play chess. She has a natural talent and is shown to overcome the disadvantage of her position (poverty and lack of education) to achieve her new dreams (becoming a master and moving out of the slums and into the city).

Without giving away how the story ends, I would say that the movie is awe-inspiring, because Mutesi's story is awe-inspiring. Furthermore, the movie manages to provoke my emotions and for the most part I enjoyed the way the movie was put together. My one minor complaint was the way the final chess match in the movie was cut.

Overall, I'm glad I watched this film and anybody who enjoys an inspirational sports movie will probably enjoy Queen of Katwe. In particular, the viewer doesn't need to understand a single thing about chess to enjoy this film.

Netflix determined the movie for me as a 82% match. I decided to give the movie neither a thumbs up nor a thumbs down.

Instant Comments:
"I won't forgive you for this." "I don't need your forgiveness. I need you to sell maize for your brothers."
Aww. She hardly explains so much before saying "Now go away, I don't like your bad smell."
Technically, a pawn can be promoted to a queen, knight, rook, or bishop. (though Queen is the most common)
"Joseph, why are you letting her win?" "I'm not letting her."
Hmm. Unfortunate that she felt she had to apologize.
Interesting misunderstanding. She didn't even give him a chance to explain.
I wonder if they slept on the ground out of comfort or out of not knowing how to make a bed. In any case, I thought he was going to cry (due to sympathy for their circumstance)

Robert Katenda (David Oyelowo) and Phiona

I couldn't hear what he says at first. He says, "Good night, my Pioneers."
Wow. What a great story to motivate the children. (starving dog and cat)
Lol. These four matches.
Just 47 minutes into the movie (less than half) and already this large sense of accomplishment.
Interesting, her sense of a false win. "Did that boy let me win?" Of course, what she reasoned to herself makes sense on the surface: if that boy goes to school and I do not, then he must be smarter than me, and so he must be the one to win the game. In her world, she assumes that intelligence only comes from school.
The student has surpassed the teacher.
Ah. Yes. When you get a taste for a "better" life.
[1] When the mother went to light the candle, after Phiona had blown it out, I was overwhelmed with emotion (including tears rushing up to reach my eyes). I found the feeling strange, because I thought it would have come about more slowly, starting from when the mother got up. But perhaps the feeling didn't register until the candle was lit, and when it did register, it registered quickly.

Phiona's sister and mother: Night (left, Taryn Kyaze) and Nakku Harriet (right, Lupita Nyong'o). In the background are her brothers Mugabi Brian (Martin Kabanza) and Richard.

This is exciting. Though watching, I wonder how it will end. (this is before the first match)
Watching this match. Tense. Will she win? What's the time on the clock?
Hmm. Did she resign because she broke under pressure or because she saw the loss?
I like how the village backs her up.
[2] The goodness in this moment where he tells his wife about the job offer. Plus her reply. This was a slower build-up of emotion.
Finally back at the beginning of the film. 1 hr 47 min mark.
The ending wasn't that exciting. 1) Because her coach's interruption detracted from the tension. 2) It wasn't easy to follow the game itself, because the camera moved too much. [20180611: I suppose if you don't know how to play chess, the way it was shot was exciting. Considering I wouldn't have been able to figure out the solution, I suppose it wouldn't have mattered if the scene went any slower, except that I could become excited about the move she made to win.]


End credits begin with each actor/actress alongside their real-life counterpart.
Credits roll over still images from the film.
"Bring the flavor to the fish, bring the flavor to the rice." It's called "#1 Spice" written and performed by Young Cardamom & HAB.

Watched 20180608 (Netflix, Instant)
Queen of Katwe (2016) Mira Nair. 124 min

Relevant Links:
Queen of Katwe (IMDb.com)
Queen of Katwe (RottenTomatoes.com)
Queen of Katwe (Wikipedia.org)
Queen of Katwe (Metacritic.com)

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