'King Richard' is a Will Smith showpiece, but it could have been more

November 19, 2021 0

You know going into King Richard, there will be a happy ending. Anyone sitting down to watch this biopic probably realizes that the end title cards will list the astounding accomplishments of two of the world’s greatest athletes, Venus Williams and Serena Williams. This assured happy ending in the film makes the success of their younger selves feel inevitable, instead of anything but. Tennis was a sport long dominated by rich, white players. So, the rise of two Black phenoms from Compton was not just unexpected, it was the exhilarating stuff of a Hollywood movie. Yet, this Hollywood movie focuses not on the Black girls who defied expectation, pitfalls, and much, much prejudice to become living legends. King Richard focuses on their dad Richard Williams, and it’s as if this biopic is an application for his canonization. Will Smith stars in the titular role and serves as producer on King Richard.

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