Starring two-time Academy award nominee Will Smith, King Richard is a biopic about the famous Tennis twin sisters, Serena and Venus Williams, with focus on the groundwork carried out by the titular Richard in gifting the world arguably two of the greatest women to ever handle a racket.
It is the true-life story of an overbearing father wanting and pushing for the best for his daughters. The humane side of the Williams’ family journey is covered in pain-staking detail–how they battled their way through poverty and a crime-infested neighbourhood of Compton, against all odds to conquer a sport that was traditionally dominated by the privileged classes.
But also, director Reinaldo Marcus Green never falters from giving us detailed tennis sequences, with the cinematography from Robert Elswit capturing each rally and point with precision. This qualified King Richard to be in the conversation of the greatest sports drama ever made.
Green’s casting is also bang on, with the girls portraying Venus and Serena-Saniyya Sidney and Demi Singleton–putting in performances that will turn heads. Not only do they excel in the tennis sequences but also steal our hearts by their adorable, lovesome, and cheerful character portrayals. The duo’s depiction of the grind and struggles behind becoming Tennis biggest duo is a joy to behold in itself.
Will Smith also puts his entire heart and soul into his portrayal of the disciplined, charismatic, loving, goal-oriented dad/coach, and visionary Richard Williams. He took his acting from Ali (2001) and In Pursuit of Happyness (2006) a step further in this one and hopefully, it finally lands him a well-deserved, long overdue Academy award statuette.