London: An Indian-origin author’s book on Queen Victoria’s relationship with her trusted Indian aide in the late 1800s would soon be made into a film in which Oscar- winning British actress Judi Dench will play the protagonist. ‘Victoria and Abdul: The True Story of the Queen’s Closet Confidant’ by author Sharbani Basu was released nearly six years ago. It captures the relationship between the British monarch and her trusted Indian aide Abdul Karim in the late 1800s. “I’m absolutely delighted that my book is in such safe hands. To have Dame Judi Dench play Victoria is absolutely perfect.
With Stephen Frears directing and the screenplay by Lee Hall, it’s a dream team,” said Basu, the London-based journalist and author of books like ‘Spy Princess’ and most recently ‘For King and Another Country’. “As a writer, one spends years sitting in archives and researching a piece of forgotten history. It’s a great feeling when the book goes out into the world and you can share the story.
The film will take it to an even wider audience,” she said. Karim was just 24 when he arrived in England from Agra to wait at table during Queen Victoria’s golden jubilee in 1887. He grew close to Queen Victoria, becoming her teacher – or munshi – and instructing her in Urdu and Indian affairs. Award-winning British filmmaker Frears, behind Helen Mirren starrer ‘The Queen’, will now transform the tale for celluloid with Oscar-winning Dench. The film will mark the second time 81-year-old Dench is to play the historical figure after ‘Mrs Brown’ in 1997, for which she received an Oscar nomination. PTI
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