“Queen of Katwe” Will Capture Your Heart


Chloe McMaster, Staff Writer

One movie trailer. A short clip that played in a dim-lit movie theater weeks before the movie came out.


That was the only advertisement I had seen for Queen of Katwe. Yet, I knew I had to see it.


Because it was based off a true story, I expected either a cheesy and over-dramaticized movie, or an awe-inspiring creation that captivated the heart.


I was left on the edge of my seat.


Phiona Mutesi (Madina Nalwanga) is an uneducated, poorly fed, 10-year-old girl raised in poverty who makes the best of what she has. When she stumbles across Robert Katende (David Oyelowo), who teaches children to play chess, Phiona discovers a new passion in life. Her skills and strategies, along with Katende’s guidance, allow Phiona to rapidly become a top player.


As Phiona competes in local competitions and receives awards, her confidence and pride is boosted. However, the Mutesi family’s economic hardship and family tension causes issues along Phiona’s path to greatness.


Queen of Katwe does not exclude the downfalls of living in poverty, and it certainly doesn’t glorify them. The movie also reveals personal flaws in each individual, such as Phiona’s great pride.


Upbeat and suspenseful music kept chess match scenes interesting and highlighted the importance of some of the smaller details within each match. The music selected for each of the heart-wrenching and heart-breaking scenes was superb and elevated those feelings.


The movie was truly inspiring. It revealed the struggle and heartache of Ugandan life, putting my own life into perspective. These families have few and far between, yet they continue to live with what they have. I’ve grown a newfound respect for those families, especially the children who continue to smile and play.