The inspirational true story of Richard Williams, a determined father who raises two extraordinary girls to become the legendary tennis players known all over the globe.
This biographical film hits all the right notes, with Will Smith delivering a captivating and mesmerizing performance as the eponymous character.
Just to be clear, King Richard isn't about the legendary Venus and Serena Williams; it's a story focusing on their father who went the extra mile to make sure that his two daughters etched their names in the history books.
When I got wind of the project months ago, I was a bit skeptical, especially with Smith playing the lead role. He is a good actor (everyone knows that) but I asked myself why another better actor wasn't chosen for the part as I hadn't seen Smith do some impressive acting in a while. Well, the dude has shown that he was born for the part.
Directed by Reinaldo Marcus Green, this film captures the struggles of the Williams family long before Venus and Serena became household names.
Richard Williams, the patriarch of the family, is determined to keep his five daughters off the streets, and his fierce determination to see two of them become world-class tennis stars finally pays off when he meets Paul Cohen (Tony Goldwyn).
The road to greatness is a rough one and along the way, nerves are touched, bonds are tested but in all this, Richard never loses faith.
Everything gets to a climax when Venus (Saniyya Sidney) gets a chance to prove herself by going toe to toe with the number one female tennis player in the world.
The story is compelling, the acting is convincing, the pacing is perfect, and the plot progression is apt, leading to a final act that will leave you at the edge of your seat.
As the protagonist, Will Smith is a force of nature; his accent, mannerisms, and poise all point to his dedication to playing a remarkable real-life character. It's not often you are moved to tears by his performance and here he almost made me shed a few.
The tennis-playing sisters are portrayed by young actors who also impress in their respective roles. While Venus is calculating, Serena (Demi Singleton) is a ferocious fighter.
I can't forget to mention the equally talented Aunjanue Ellis whose role as Oracene 'Brandy' Price, Richard Williams'wife, is also instrumental in the film being exceptional. Her character keeps Richard grounded and she is the one who has to constantly remind him that he doesn't have to prove anything more than the sacrifice he is making.
King Richard is a touching and inspiring story about a man who gave it his all to ensure that his daughters become two of the greatest sporting stars on the planet. Thanks to Will Smith, it's worth every damn second.
Two thumbs way up!