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Judi Dench, Ali Fazal become friends in first trailer of Stephen Frears’s Victoria & Abdul


The Fukrey (2013) actor introduced the trailer of the extraordinary true story of the friendship between queen Victoria and her Indian attendant, Abdul, in Mumbai on 30 May.

Sonal Pandya

The trailer of Stephen Frears’s Victoria & Abdul was launched globally around the world on 30 May and Ali Fazal was on hand to launch the film in India. Fazal introduced the trailer in Mumbai saying, "This is very unique. I’m very excited to be a part of this film, this journey that has taken a little long but I think it’s totally worth it.

"I worked with some brilliant people and enjoyed myself. The preparation on this film is something I will take with me for a very long time."

Ali Fazal hadn’t seen the trailer himself and was keen to see how it had shaped up. He needn’t have worried; he has a significant presence in the nearly three-minute trailer.

Based on a true story, Victoria & Abdul follows the stately monarch as she prepares for her diamond jubilee celebrations. Academy Award-winning actress Dame Judi Dench steps in as Victoria and Ali Fazal plays Abdul Karim, her Muslim attendant from India, who later became her friend.

The trailer shows how Abdul Karim breaks through to the formidable queen, despite all the protocol, and gains her confidence and friendship. She begins to confide in him and asks him to teach her Urdu. Thus begins an unlikely friendship that not many were aware of.

However, to the queen’s inner circle, including her son Bertie (played by Eddie Izzard), her relationship with Abdul appears unseemly because of his nationality and station. In the trailer, Judi Dench as Victoria brilliantly sets down those who question her authority saying, “I am anything but insane. How dare you look down on Abdul!”

Besides Dench and Fazal, there are few glimpses of the rest of the cast from Eddie Izzard to Michael Gambon (as Lord Salisbury), Olivia Williams and recent BAFTA award winner for lead actor Adeel Akhtar as Abdul’s fellow attendant.

Known as the ‘Grandmother of Europe’ as her progeny were spread all over the continent, queen Victoria ruled for 64 years and presided over an industrial and cultural era called the Victorian period. The current queen of England, Elizabeth II, has overtaken her as she celebrated her sapphire jubilee, marking 65 years of her reign.

As the trailer indicates, Victoria & Abdul will be release in India on 15 September. Meanwhile, watch the trailer: