Whether you follow tennis or not, it's hard to not know who Venus and Serena Williams are. Living legends of not just the women's game but tennis as a sport, the pair changed the game and inspired a whole generation of talent for the better of the game. King Richard tells the quite unbelievable story on how their future careers were formed and the man who stopped at nothing to ensure they made it in the game.

Following Richard Williams (Will Smith), an undeterred father instrumental in raising two of the most extraordinarily gifted athletes of all time, who will end up changing the sport of tennis forever. Driven by a clear vision of their future and using unconventional methods, Richard has a plan that will take Venus (Saniyya Sidney) and Serena Williams (Demi Singleton) from the streets of Compton, California to the global stage as legendary icons.
King Richard is a triumph of a sports drama that, like the best of them, focuses more on the people and their dramas than the actual sport itself. Tennis obviously plays its part in the film but the idea of never giving up on a dream and defying all your critics drives the narrative home in such brilliant fashion.

Zach Baylin's writing is very on the nose, handling everything from family and racism in a film packed full of inspiration and drama. I do remember Venus and Serena Williams rising to the top in the tennis world but had no idea just how much was put on the line in order for them to make it in the sport. Reinaldo Marcus Green directs the film with plenty of passion, utilising Robert Elswit's photography of the tennis sequences to emphasise the determination that both the girls and their father had in making it.

Leading the film is a great performance from Will Smith, who is the best he has been in years here as a father wanting to give his children the life he never had. He's stern with them but never lets them forget he's their father and will always be in their corner, Smith portraying both so wonderfully. The ace up the film's sleeve though is Saniyya Sidney as Venus Williams, who gives Smith a proper run for his money, and Jon Bernthal as Rick Macci, a tennis coach who plays off Smith's father figure brilliantly.

King Richard further proves that I'm an absolute sucker for a sports drama and it's a film I definitely won't mind rooting for come awards season because this is a great depiction of such inspirational people.

Verdict: ★★★★★


Popular Posts