While watching the new movie “King Richard” I wondered what it must feel like to be either Venus or Serena Williams, with their many titles, huge wealth and fame and realize every moment that were it not for their father Richard Williams, played by Will Smith in this film, none of what they have would have been remotely possible.
Richard Williams was not a perfect husband and father(he actually had other children with several other women), but as parent raising hugely successful daughters, its impossible to imagine anyone doing a better job than he did. You cannot help but be impressed by this story of a poor man holding onto a bad security job at night and spending his entire life devoted to making sure his 5 daughters were extremely successful. Richard Williams was beaten up several times in this story by thugs and criminals in the neighborhood, most of the time trying to protect and defend either Serena or Venus when they played Tennis on run down Tennis courts in dangerous neighborhoods in Compton California.
Most of this story has to do with the early successful Tennis career of Venus Williams who is one year older than Serena. Richard’s obsession with protecting Venus from the vultures and coaches in the Tennis world is the center storyline throughout this film. At times it seemed that his obsession was helping his daughter at other times it seemed that he was hurting her career. There are many Tennis scenes in this film that showed the rise of Venus Tennis career and the two young girls in this movie Demi Singleton and Aunjanue Ellis both do an excellent job protraying Serena and Venus.
In 2015 the movie “Concussion” with Will Smith playing the doctor who discovered the rampant brain injuries of so many NFL players was released. What followed was a huge controversy when Smith was not even nominated for an Oscar after his outstanding performance. This time around, Will Smith just might win his first Oscar as his performance in this movie is the best of his career, even surpassing his role in “The Pursuit of Happyness” released in 2006.
The Rotten Tomatoes ratings for King Richard are an accurate and extremely high 92% and I view this movie as one of the best of 2021.