The Oscars were last weekend, and so was the slap heard around the world. If you haven’t already heard, Will Smith slapped Chris Rock after Rock made a joke about Jada Pinkett Smith, Smith’s wife, referring to her as “G.I. Jane 2” because of her shaved head. This slap caused controversy, to say the least, especially when Will Smith received an Oscar for Best Actor in a Leading role for his performance in ‘King Richard’ right after the slap.
Whether or not Smith should have still been given the Oscar after the slap is not up for discussion in this article — however, Smith’s performance in ‘King Richard’ is. I decided to watch the movie for the first time after the slap heard around the world. I’d been meaning to watch it earlier, but I never got around to it — after all, it’s almost two and a half hours long.
Let me just say, ‘King Richard’ was beautiful. The story, the acting, the cinematography — every aspect of this movie made it one that I would recommend to anyone.
The movie tells the story of Venus and Serena Williams’ family, with Smith playing their dad Richard. Richard knows from before they were even born that Venus and Serena are destined for greatness, so he makes it his life’s mission to make them the best tennis players of all time. We follow Richard’s journey as he tries to make a name for his daughters and find them coaches, sponsorships and competitions. I won’t give anything away, but Richard’s journey pays off in the end — however, we all probably knew this as almost anyone in this world knows the names Serena and Venus.
This movie isn’t all sunshine and rainbows — the Williams had a very tough go at first. They lived in Compton, Los Angeles without a lot of money. Their parents worked tirelessly to provide for their family and worked even harder to teach the girls tennis.
What I like about this movie is how angry the audience can get at Richard. He is not an easily likable character all the time. He has such high standards for the success of his family that he makes decisions that the audience doesn’t always agree with. It gives the movie depth and tension, and although we get mad at Richard sometimes, he always proves that his actions are for the greater good.
Anyone who appreciates a well-made film will love this movie. The scenes are shot beautifully — it’s colorful and detailed but the best part is how powerful it is. When you watch this movie, you want to see Venus and Serena succeed to their highest potential. When they compete, you root for them, you root for their family and everything that they’ve worked for. Each scene leaves you sitting on the edge of your seat, wondering what happens next.
I give this movie a 10/10. It combines everything good about cinema and spits it out in one piece. The true story leaves you feeling something bigger than yourself — it leaves you feeling hopeful for the world, like anyone has the power to do anything they want to accomplish if they set their mind to it.
Should Will Smith still have been given the Oscar for it after he punched Chris Rock on live, national TV? I don’t know. But I do know that ‘King Richard’ itself deserves every good accolade and award it receives — it’s just that good.