Victoria & Abdul

Featured In Issue 226, April 2018

WSR Score4.5
Basic Information on new release titles is posted as soon as titles are announced. Once reviewed, additional data is added to the database.
Universal Studios Home Video
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Some thematic and language
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Single Side, Dual Layer (BD-50)
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Stephen Frears
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DTS HD Lossless 5.1
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Based on the book by Shrabani Basu, "Victoria & Abdul" is the extraordinary true story of an unexpected friendship in the later years of Queen Victoria's (Dench) rule. When Abdul Karim (Fazal), a young clerk, travels from India to participate in the Queen's Golden Jubilee, he is surprised to find favor with the Queen herself. As the Queen questions the constructions of her long-held position, the two forge an unlikely and devoted alliance with a loyalty to one another that her household and inner circle all attempt to destroy. As the friendship deepens, the Queen begins to see a changing world through new eyes and joyfully reclaims her humanity. (Gary Reber)

Special features include the featurettes "Judi & Ali" (HD 04:55) and "The Look Of Victoria & Abdul" (HD 06:46), upfront previews, and a Movies Anywhere digital copy.

The 2.39:1 1080p AVC picture, reviewed on a Sony Bravia Z9D 4K Ultra HD HDR display, upconverted to 2160p with greater resolution and luminance, was photographed digitally using the Arri Alexa and Red Epic Dragon camera systems and sourced from a 2K master Digital Intermediate format. This is a fantastically gorgeous filmic period picture sporting incredibly elaborate costumes and lavish environments with impressive naturalness. The color palette is fabulously rich and warm, as well as vivid, with nicely saturated hues. Reds are particularly rich and vibrant. Fleshtones are accurately rendered throughout. Contrast is superb with deep, solid blacks, revealing shadow delineation, and bright whites. Resolution is excellent with all manner of fine detail revealed in facial features, Dench's makeup, skin pores, hair, beards, elaborate costumes and object texture. A WOW! segment is the opening dinner, which begins at 10:52 and ends at 12:22. The imagery and production design throughout is spectacular. This is a visually impressive picture that is mesmerizing and reference quality/ (Gary Reber)

The DTS-HD Master Audio™ 5.1-channel soundtrack, while dialogue focused, is nicely engaging with realistic atmospherics, but the sound elements are predominately frontal with subtle surround envelopment. The orchestral score is well recorded with a spacious soundstage and extension to the surrounds. Sound effects, such as thunder and rain, also sound very natural, with effective bass extension. In one scene, a sudden rainstorm occurs, and in other scenes pouring rain is extremely realistic. Dialogue intelligibility is excellent with good spatial integration, even when spoken in the large palatial rooms. Foley sound effects effectively enhance the realism of the various environments. This is a well-crafted soundtrack that delivers sonic realism throughout. (Gary Reber)