A United Kingdom 2016 ***

Amma Asante’s true-life drama might sound dull and preachy, but after a soft opening, this account of the 1950’s romance between Prince Seretse Khama of Botswana (David Oyelowo) and typist Ruth Williams (Rosamund Pike) develops quite a head of steam. Once the Prince brings Ruth back to his home country, he falls foul of political intrigue, not least because the British government stand in the way of a high-profile mixed-race marriage. What makes A United Kingdom work is the details of the chicanery that went on, with Winston Churchill revealed as somewhat duplicitous and Tony Benn (Jack Lowden) riding to the rescue to crowd-pleasing effect. A United Kingdom gets points for finding an original, untold story and telling it well, praising the worthy and punishing the guilty alike with no-holds-barred.


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