This isn’t really a review, since it’s been a while since the Will Smith movie ‘King Richard’ came out and he’s made enough noise for himself with the Oscar slap. That’s literally the second thing that pops up on ‘auto suggest’ when you search for ‘Will Smith Oscar’. You don’t even have to complete the phrase. The only thing most people will now associate with ‘King Richard’ is that slap. Too bad, because when I was done watching the film, all I thought was that the girls who played Venus and Serena Williams deserved a lot more applause than Smith. The ‘I Am Legend’ actor obviously had a lot more screen-time, since the plot’s main focus was the ‘man behind Tennis legends’.
Sure, maybe if it had not been for their father’s persistence and obsession with making his daughter tennis superstars, they wouldn’t have been the global icons they are today. But, there are enough obsessive parents around the world, but very few manage to make a Serena Williams out of their kid. So it feels like ‘King Richard’ gives a little too much credit to the dad for the sisters’ success and not enough to the women.
Demi Singleton and Saniyya Sidney are low key brilliant as Serena and Venus, playing tennis like total pros through the film. It wasn’t as much as Smith’s acting, but the script that give him so much attention, that it was inevitable a star of his stature to take home some of the biggest awards. An Academy Award no less. The leading ladies on the other hand landed a few wins, but not close enough to an Oscar repute obviously. Although, in all honesty, Sidney and Singleton didn’t have powerful roles or enough on-screen space to give cathartic performances. But in a world where Will Smith truly deserved an Oscar for the lead role, the girls would’ve won one it for their supporting parts too.