I got round to watching Queen of Katwe.
In 720p, it is absolutely eye-pealing. Looks great! I mean, every colour, every shade, whether down there in Katwe, or Budo, or Russia – the thing looked good!
The first thing you hear is Bobi Wine as you travel from the sky over a wide beautiful night to focus on the Walt Disney castle being lit up by fireworks. Oh gosh. It was like patriotism had a sound. (Don’t overthink the castle bit.)
Then there was that old Afrigo sound – “Woololo woololo, ehhhh, woololo woololo, ehh, woololo woololo ‘funda n’omubi….” then a looooooot of A-Pass, some Chameleone, Radio and Weasel, some Nigerians and then there is that cool collabo at the end.
I will be frank with you, after 30 minutes I am waiting for the story to kickstart seeing as I already know the story. So I was tempted to watch in ‘forwards’ – catching sight of different scenes, different places. Nonetheless, there is a way the story asks you to wait – I don’t know whether it is the patriotism again. Seeing sights I am used to seeing like that soccer field at Kibuye or that underground tunnel definitely made me smile.
Yes, the lead characters had a not so Ugandan accent. However, most people who have never been here would never know. It just felt like they were impersonators. And some of the acting seemed like it was for the stage. Elaborately said words emphasising consonants and what not.
That aside, there were characters who were pulled off well – Peter Odeke for one. Haha! Yo! Enoch was such fun with his mindless phrasings. That said, the cast was rich. It was like a meeting of older and newer Ugandan acting talents. And let me tell you, I think I was more pleased with them than the leads. Blame my patriotism. I don’t know how the Scots felt when Braveheart was made. Maybe they also had a lot of pet peeves.
Queen of Katwe is a beautiful production. An inspirational human story. A brighter side to Uganda’s in-film history. Nanti for films, people think the Entebbe films and The Last King of Scotland. Movies which generally don’t show any Ugandan triumph. This one does. And a look at Rotten Tomatoes shows it at 93%. The only thing is this movie hasn’t broken even. For a budget of 15m USD, so far it has raked in 10m USD.
I can’t really explain that mathematics though I’d like to overthink it and say stuff like maybe this is the Ugandan malediction – heart but….ah let me stop. I mean like the Uganda Cranes, Rugby Cranes… except of course the Lacrosse team and the She Cranes (Netball) and the boxers of old…ah but let me stop.
I am continuing to overthink by wondering whether the title helps even but- ah let me stop.
I believe the message of the story though is to inspire every Ugandan and let them know they can overcome their challenges. “You belong here.” Uganda, yes you do belong on the world stage. No matter how small a country you are, you can do shine. Stay true to the heart.
It was great seeing names of people you know in the credits or on the screen. It reminds one, your dreams are valid. There are guys on the credits who don’t seek too much fame but damn, the projects they are undertaking. The lesson is, stay true to your hustle. Sideway looks rarely help you focus.
Sincerely though, the visuals and the music made this a beautiful movie. Will watch it with the kids when they come back from the holidays!