Yes, Will Smith’ career is under fire because of the infamous Oscars slap that he dealt to Chris Rock. Yes, that’s probably the only thing that is worth talking about this year but it’s high time that people separate the art from the artist and talk more about the magnificence that is the sports drama film King Richard.
The film was probably a highlight of Will Smith’s career and one of the best films of 2021 with critics praising the cast and fact-based story behind the narrative.
The story revolves around the legendary tennis players Venus and Serena Williams and their father, Richard Williams, who birthed the two legends and made them the goddesses of tennis that they are today.
Williams, the patriarch, prides himself on getting the best out of his daughters and uses their talents to the best of their abilities. Williams uses his burning desire to gain respect from his community and the tennis community. Richard’s straight-forward tenacity and incessant hard work is what made the story of a lifetime.
The intensity of every scene in the HBOMax tennis flick spikes a certain fervor in the audiences as they gander at each frame of triumph and tragedy in the Williams family. Richard is able to garner a few coaches to get his girls out of the ghetto and makes use of it mostly through his ego and need to make good for his family. His two young tennis champs quickly turn pro for their age with the two garnering a number of fans, accolades and endorsement deals.
The film, like Richard, prides itself on the power of struggle and not having everything handed to you on a silver platter and Will Smith certainly acts his pants off for this role with every facial expression and subtle gesture memorializing the real-life Richard Williams.
The film brings a touch of unique cinema into the sports movie genre. Its flair for bringing these characters together is a testament to Reinaldo Marcus Green’s direction and ability to narrow in on a character. While many other sports films will drench the film in the type of sport that the characters are playing, King Richard only uses the sport of tennis as a tool to keep the story going.
The film serves a lesson to the audience to appreciate what they have and expand upon what they can further do to get the life and lifestyle that they want. People will learn to appreciate what they will have in the future and appreciate the hard times even more since hard times create strong men and strong men create easy times. Moreover, Easy times create weak men and weak men create hard times and the cycle continues. Richard Willaims like the film is a story of struggle and hard times and that’s what makes it great.