QUEEN OF KATWE – Rated PG – 124 Minutes

Starring David Oyelowo, Lupita Nyong’o, and Madina Nalwanga

Brought to the big screen by who else, but the Wonderful World of DISNEY, we meet a girl from Uganda, who, once she is introduced to the game of chess, finds that a greatness lies within her to become all that she can be – this is QUEEN OF KATWE!

Struggling through life, right along with her siblings and mother Nakku (Lupita Nyong’o), Phiona (Madina Nalwanga) finds herself in the midst of many of the children from her village learning to play the game of chess, but she’s not sure if this place, or game, is for her.

When instructor and super nice guy Robert (David Oyelowo) convinces Phiona to join them for a little porridge, and a game or two, Phiona realizes that this place might just be a sanctuary from the hardships of the outside world, as it beckons her to join in, even if its only for a little while…

When she starts kicking the tooshie of everyone at the center, Robert realizes Phiona’s potential and encourages her to keep playing this game that she now come to LOVE. When an opportunity arises for Phiona to travel to the Chess championships, Robert is determined to find a way to get Phiona clear across Africa, so that she can finally have the opportunity to show off her stuff…

As the pressure mounts, Phiona’s dreams of being the one true Master of Chess for Uganda, goes by the wayside. But, with perseverance and determination – both Phiona and Robert decide that the destiny that is calling her, may just be only one more tournament away…

I give QUEEN OF KATWE a rating between MUST SEE ON THE BIG SCREEN and WAIT AND CATCH IT ON DVD ~ I have loved Oyelowo’s and Nyong’o’s previous works, so I was excited to see what they would bring to the big screen within this biography, and gladly, they did not disappoint. Young Nalwanga’s portrayal of Phiona was convincing too, as the youngster torn between family life, and her desires to be more than what surrounds her. This storyline is touching, and very real all the way through, but at times it seems to move ever super slow…giving you time to grab a much needed drink, without missing a beat in the story playing out on screen. If you love DISNEY films, and want to catch a heart-warming jaunt into the life of this incredible young lady, then by all means go catch this one, with the family in tow, at a theater near you this weekend. But, if chess isn’t your deal, or if you need a lot of excitement happening to keep you awake watching this one on the big screen, then you may want to wait to catch QUEEN OF KATWE on DVD, in the comfort of your own home…

Kathy Kaiser

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