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Victoria & Abdul

Victoria and Abdul

Victoria and Abdul is a moving, poignant, heartfelt, laugh-out-loud funny film and yes, tearful at the end. Every heartstring and every emotion possible is pulled and plucked, while the dialogue is, as you would expect from a BBC coproduction with Working Titles Films, funny, acerbic, scathing, observant, and so much more. The asides and back chat, the whispers and hushed conversations, as important as every wonderful moment between Dame Judi Dench, as Victoria, and Ali Fazal, as Abdul Karim, her beloved Munshi [teacher] and, over the years, a trusted advisor. He gave her daily lessons in Urdu (how to write and speak the language) and counselled her on Indian Affairs, much to the consternation of her other advisors at the time, including Bertie — later to become the short lived King Edward VII.

Their 14 year friendship is squashed into a near two hour movie, so I’m sure a great deal has been sacrificed to give us this ‘snap-shot’ of their time together. But what a glorious snap-shot of a movie. Beautifully filmed and acted by the stellar cast of famous Brit actors. This is, for me at least, one of those outstanding movies that I am sure, will stand the test of time. Reminiscent of those Merchant Ivory productions, that suck you in and don’t let you go till the last frame has flickered off the screen.

Two-thumbs up!

The Impossible Girl [fiction]

THE LEAN AND LANKY RYAN CONNOR jumped out the back of the 4-ton truck and landed in the wet mud with a soft thud. It sucked at his wellies as he moved off toward a large pit, and the reason they were all there. He turned just in time to see his Corporal, Jack Blase, a man in his late 20s, man-handle himself out of the truck like a 60 year-old. Working bomb disposal did that to a person.

“Come on, Old Man, you’ll be late for the party.” Jack flashed him a look that said, ‘don’t mess with me.’ Ryan cocked his head to one side, fixed his Service-issue woollen hat further back on his head at a jaunty angle, and grinned. He waited for Jack, William ‘The Bagman’ Herschel and their lieutenant, Sandy ‘Shingle’ House, to catch up with him. He turned back toward the gapping maw of the pit. Workers had been hand digging the area up until yesterday when, as happened all to often in this area of Hanover, a perfectly preserved unexploded 1000 pounder had been unearthed.

It was one of theirs, that much was for sure. Someone had taken the time to write on the pointy end, ‘a gift from Ol’ Blighty’.

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Unique Blogger

Following on from Vera over at Unfiltered Tales, who was asked three questions by Kiersten, I am taking up the challenge to answer the three questions she threw out for anyone to join in on—partly because I had no post prepared for today, it’s a Bank Holiday Monday and we’re housebound due to rain. Shame you all cannot hear the thunder like we can!

Anyway, Vera’s questions to all of us were:

What character’s flaw irritates you?

Hmm there could be so many candidates for most irritating, but I would have to settle on Police Cadet Yvette Nichol, a character from Still Life, by Louise Penny. Who was so well written I began to detest her by the mid-point of the book. She’s arrogant and so self-absorbed to the point she ignores sound advice and takes everything as a personal insult. Worst of all, she’s deceitful on a level that is ultimately her downfall.

Louise Penny crafts this character to such a degree as to make Nichol get so under a reader’s skin, and makes you feel physically uncomfortable. At least, that’s how this character made me feel.

If magic was real, what spell would you try to learn first? And, of course, why?

Hmm if magic were real. But, but, it is real, isn’t it? Well, of course I think magic, I think Harry Potter and, of course, one of my favourite and misunderstood characters, Severus Snape. As to spells, well, Obliviate sounds the most fun, but for something useful, I’d go with Hermione’s favourite for opening things: Alohomora. You know, just because: bank vaults, biscuit tins.

What would be the best thing you could reasonably expect to find in a cave? (Yes, she seriously wanted to know!)

I’d like to know why I’d end up in a cave to begin with and being flippant about wanting to find a four-poster bed is fun, but the truth is, the anthropologist in me would love to find bones. Specifically, ancient career-defining bones. My kind of treasure — and you?

Okay, so my question to you is:

• If you could only read books from ONE author for the rest of your life. Who would you choose?