Will Smith will be playing Richard Williams, father of the US sporting sisters, in the well made authorized version of the sisters’ story. After the premier of “King Richard Movie” at this year’s London film festival, British and American audience offered different opinion. King Richard is the story of a real-life amateur US tennis coach who went through every possible hurdle to help his daughters become the most sensational winners.
One of the best part about the movie is that Will Smith is never seen in long trousers throughout the runtime of the movie. Will Smith plays the 24//7 committed, incredibly focused and exceptionally demanding father of the two sisters Venus and Serena Williams. King Richard is the man who with extreme hardwork, dedication and willpower, took his daughter from nothing to a multi-million dollar pro sport triumph all the while battling racism. White parents on the junior circuit wrongly call his girls’ shots out and white sports agents tell Richards that his efforts for Venus and Serena are incredible while offering lowball deals.
Young Venus and Serena Williams are played by Saniyya Sidney and Demi Singleton and it would be right to say that roles were played pleasantly and with sympathy. The role of their mother Brandi is played by Aunjanue Ellis.
The movie closely follows Williams and his family’s tough beginnings playing on old and battered courts, with Richards getting beat up when he tries to stop guys hitting on his underage daughters. He irritates a huge coach into guiding his daughters, and when the coach is fired from his job, he takes Venus and Serena out of the junior tournaments. He hires Macci instead, and the movie ends with Venus’s professional debut in 1994 at the age of 14 against the world number two Arantxa Sanchez Vicario.
Throughout the movie, no one calls Williams as King Richard but that’s because that’s more of a symbolic name. Venus and Serena Williams are co-producers on the project and this movie is the authorized version, signifying multiple times that their father was a nice and caring man, who hardly lost his temper. Will Smith’s performance throughout the movie is nothing short of perfect, it reminds his role of Muhammmad Ali. The movie is enjoyable and well-made but it carefully skips the especially darker parts of Richard Williams life. The movie never answers questions like how it was to live with a disciplinarian and someone who seems to favor one daughter than others at crucial stages (in the movies at least).
King Richard Movie: Details
- Directed By: Reinaldo Marcus Green
- Produced By: Tim White. Trevor White, Will Smith
- Cast: Will Smith, Aunjanue Ellis, Saniyya Sidney, Demi Singleton, Tony Goldwyn, Jon Bernthal
- Release Date: September 2, 2021 (Telluride), November 19, 2021 (United States)
- Runtime: 138 minutes