Queen of Katwe (2016)
Katwe is a small village in Uganda where people sell and trade various things daily just to survive. When a group of children begin to learn chess from Robert Katende (David Oyelowo), a local teacher, they begin to have a sense of purpose and discipline that was missing from their lives.
In the same Disney vein as Remember the Titans, Miracle, Invincible, and Eddie the Eagle, Queen of Katwe is an uplifting true story that is special yet becoming over done. Don’t get me wrong, this kind of story is what we love to see in movies, but the formula is becoming redundant. The feeling I get when watching these kinds of films now as an adult is “that’s nice” and “good for them.” I don’t feel connected to the story as I once did and this time around, the aspect of chess playing could only go so far. The acting of David Oyelowo and Lupita Nyong’o are definitely the kind that will carry this film further than it normally would, but let’s face it, this movie is about less fortunate kids playing chess and finding a purpose and direction in life. That is a wonderful story because it is true, but otherwise there isn’t much to hold on to here. I feel the movie is a tad too long and if it had been shortened down some, it might not have overstayed its welcome.
As I stated before, if you have seen any of the other many other Disney feel-good features then you know how this one is going to turn out. There isn’t much more I can say other than it is exactly what you expect. I did enjoy the end when the real people came out with their actor counter parts. That was pretty cleaver and special. My recommendation is that if you love true and up-lifting stories than you can’t go wrong with this one, just don’t expect it to change the mold.
6/10 Stars – It might be a happy and uplifting movie, this formula is getting old and redundant.