“King Richard” is a biopic of Richard Williams, father of Venus and Serena Williams, and his plan to turn his youngest daughters into the greatest tennis players of all time.
“King Richard” will be released in theaters and on HBO Max on November 19, 2021, but I was given prescreening passes by Warner Bros to see the film ahead of its release.
The film stars Will Smith as Richard Williams, Saniyya Sidney as Venus Williams, Demi Singleton as Serena Williams, and Aunjanue Ellis as Brandi Williams. Other stars in the film include Jon Bernthal, Tony Goldwyn, Dylan McDermott among others. The film was written by Zach Baylin and directed by Reinaldo Marcus Green.
Will Smith shined brightest in the film. His portrayal of Richard Williams was excellent. Alongside him, Aunjanue Ellis portraying his wife, Brandi Williams was a perfect counterbalance. She added fierce pushback when Smith played a fearful father, not wanting to see his daughters fail.
The most inspirational part of the movie was really the improbable story. That a dedicated father instilled in his daughter a strength and resilience and confidence that they could do anything, become number one in the world, and in Serena’s case, become the greatest player who ever lived. Training day and night, rain or shine, he kept pushing them towards greatness, when many people scoffed at his claims about his girls, when many refused to train them, when they saw something insignificant, he saw their full potential.
That belief in them, their dedication to training, and ultimately their resiliency in the face of adversity become the perfect trifecta that propelled them to unprecedented success that was never realized by any other player before them. When they went onto the court, they truly believed that no one could beat them. Then they went out and proved it. Not only were they out there proving to themselves, but also to every person who went to see them. They then became role models for every other African American girl (and boy) who wanted to follow in their footsteps.
It is possible.
We can do this too.
As a father myself of two girls, and a boy, the film struck a chord in me about fatherhood, about empowering my kids to succeed, about instilling in them confidence in themselves and in what they are capable of. It was a powerful film that really tugs on your heartstrings at the right time. You see the long odds they faced. You see the backbone not to back down. You see the timely truths spoken when one parent falters to encourage the other.
I really appreciated this film. The inspirational true story it is based on was amazing. The positive messages for young people and parents alike are so important.