‘King Richard’ serves up realistic, heartfelt story

Through its realistic family dynamics, ‘King Richard’ provides the viewer with a film with characters that feel relatable, sympathetic and incredible all at the same time. The film gives the viewer insight on the Williams sisters prior to their sports stardom.


The Couch Critic

By choosing to focus the film on Richard Williams and how his dreams and views affect his daughters and wife, the movie allows viewers to look into a protagonist that they can simultaneously cheer for and criticize.
I didn’t know what to expect when I walked into the theatre to watch this film. One thing I did expect was for the movie to be about the accomplishments of Serena Williams. To my surprise, it really isn’t.
For one, the movie, as the name implies, revolves around Richard Williams as arguably the sole protagonist of the film. It shows how his drive and commitment to his daughters’ success drive him to make various decisions, even ones that are questionable.
Through a very emotional performance by Will Smith, Richard’s character is really brought to life. He feels real. The relationship he has with his daughters feels real. The relationship he has with his wife feels real.
The performance is convincing (minus a few things, but I’ll get to that later) and was boosted by the great cast that brings the best out of every scene with Smith.
One part that I hadn’t thought about before viewing the movie was how Richard’s extreme passion for his children’s future had an effect on his marriage, resulting in various moments where he and his wife butt heads.
These arguments allow us to truly see him through the eyes of the other characters, with his wife continually acting as a voice of reason
The movie also focuses primarily on Venus Williams, leaving Serena Williams, the now better known and more successful sister, in Venus’s shadow for basically the movie’s entirety. This was a very smart move as the movie manages to accomplish two things simultaneously. For one, it allows people who are largely unaware of tennis to recognize Venus Williams for how great she is as a player despite playing second fiddle to her younger sister in recent years.
The film also manages to ground Serena Williams and allow the viewer to see her development before she became the most accomplished tennis player of all time.
In case you were wondering, the tennis action in this movie is just as realistic as the characters.
It looks so real that I’m almost unsure if they were actually playing tennis or not.
My only real criticism of this movie is that, at times, Will Smith’s accent starts to slip in and out, like he wasn’t given enough time to fully prepare.
For example, in the first few minutes of the movie, he pronounces the word “year” in a typical American accent instead of pronouncing it without the “r-” sound like an actual Louisianian would.
It’s really obvious and it kind of lowered my expectations for the rest of his performance, but I’m sure most people didn’t even notice and weren’t bothered by it half as much as I was.
Overall, this is a great film and all of the characters come off as so believable and realistic. It allows you to really see the heart of every character and how they feel from their unique viewpoint.
This movie is definitely up there for a potential Oscar win, and it’s totally deserving of that. I give it a solid A grade. I highly suggest that anybody with an interest in biopics take the time to see this one.