King Richard

Reinaldo Marcus Green makes the most of Will Smith in this biopic about Venus and Serena Williams’ father and trainer.

There’s a balance that’s hard to find in Reinaldo Marcus Green’s King Richard. The achievements of many prodigies – from Andre Agassi to Tonya Harding to Mozart – have in part been attributed to parental ambition. But, from the get-go, a film focusing on the accomplishments of two of the greatest sportswomen who have ever lived with their father makes a difficult proposition.

He also must escape the shadow of a cheeky Oscar nomination from his star Will Smith, whose open ambition to secure a statuette has earned him nominations for Ali and The Pursuit of Happyness, but his trophy cabinet remains. empty. Inspirational biopics seem the safe path to silverware, and some moments in this movie seem pre-edited as an awards clip. So it’s heartening to say that King Richard is rising above all of this to offer a well-crafted tribute to black parenthood, family and black spirit.

Fans of the Williams sisters will already have a sense of who their father Richard is – fiercely protective of his daughters and an outspoken presence at court that, early in their careers, drew almost as much attention as they did. Here, we meet him long before the headlines, at a white country club peddling a 78-page plan for future success. The goal is to make his children into superstars: he considers this tennis to be a “good enough racquet”.

King Richard - Light Home News

The club’s pristine lawns contrast with the Compton courts his daughters train on, but Richard and his wife Oracene (Aunjanue Ellis) want big things for their family and are determined to make it work. Watching young Venus (Saniyya Sidney) and Serena (Demi Singleton) train on cracked concrete in the rain, it seems absurd to wonder what the future holds for them. Yet this nonsense is what provides the film’s interesting insights into how ambition and passion can be militarized against marginalized people.

Virtually every conversation Richard has about his daughters with a white person is littered with micro-aggression, which can be seen as the beginning of the bad faith lens through which the Williams sisters continue to interpret every display of determination or of emotion. While not all black families “ask someone to believe you have the next two Mozarts living in your house,” the film does talk about the prevalent obstacles for black parents trying to provide a better life for their children. children.

Where the film creaks at times is when the dialogue becomes heavy with intersectional feminism, and you can see characters almost winking at the future. Director Green can get the most out of Smith, and his directing style is, in general, very robust, but his hyper-skill sometimes works to the detriment of the film, feeling cautious and out of step with the bold ambition of his subjects. .

Unlike Smith’s decent but saccharine American Dream flick, The Pursuit of Happiness, the star doesn’t just rely on his charisma to sell Richard. Absorbing some of his eccentricities and volatility is what keeps him savvy enough to avoid predatory contract clauses and warm enough to preserve some childhood joy for his daughters. Most of the rhythms of their inspiring ascension sound familiar, but the film avoids the pitfalls simply based on the unprecedented nature of the ascension of Venus and Serena.

Reference of the Article-post – lwlies