Belfast Telegraph

UK Website Of The Year

Home Life Features

A United Kingdom review: Tough love in a harsh climate

By Damon Smith

Published 25/11/2016

Seretse Khama (David Oyelowo), heir apparent to the nation of Bechuanaland (now Botswana), is studying law in 1947 London before returning home to lead his people. He has been prepared for this role by his proud uncle Tshekedi (Vusi Kunene) and a council which kowtows to the UK.

At a dance organised by the London Missionary Society, Seretse falls in love with typist Ruth Williams (Rosamund Pike), whose bigoted father George (Nicholas Lyndhurst) would never condone the flourishing romance.

Paternal rage pales next to the indignation of Alistair Canning (Jack Davenport), the UK government's representative in southern Africa. Unperturbed, the couple marry and Ruth accompanies Seretse to Bechuanaland, where she faces hostility from uncle Tshekedi, aunt Ella (Abena Ayivor) and Seretse's sister Naledi (Terry Pheto). Meanwhile, the UK regime - represented by snivelling district commissioner Rufus Lancaster (Tom Felton) - and the South African government use underhand tactics to separate the lovebirds. A United Kingdom is a stirring ode to love, distinguished by molten on-screen chemistry between Oyelowo and Pike.

Four stars

Belfast Telegraph

Your Comments

COMMENT RULES: Comments that are judged to be defamatory, abusive or in bad taste are not acceptable and contributors who consistently fall below certain criteria will be permanently blacklisted. The moderator will not enter into debate with individual contributors and the moderator’s decision is final. It is Belfast Telegraph policy to close comments on court cases, tribunals and active legal investigations. We may also close comments on articles which are being targeted for abuse. Problems with commenting? customercare@belfasttelegraph.co.uk

Read More

From Belfast Telegraph