“King Richard” Movie Review: Will Smith Reminds Us That Black Fathers Matter, Even If They’re Not Perfect And I Love It

by Shaye Wyllie
king richard movie review

With all the talk about whose story this really is, and why Richard Williams shouldn’t be at the forefront of the Williams sisters success story, despite him being their father and carrying them there, I think a lot of people are overlooking the more important message of this film.

And that’s that Black fathers matter!

Even when they’re not perfect! Despite that they’re not perfect, Black fathers do indeed matter!

King Richard Review

king richard movie poster

It’s not often that Hollywood bothers to give us a story about a great Black dad, let alone one whose kids are incredibly famous. So when we DO get one, why do we tear it apart and pretend like they’re not important?

Richard Williams by no means is a perfect dad, and we saw that highlighted throughout the film.

He was overprotective, a complete asshole to his wife and undermined her contributions to their family’s success, and a terrible communicator.

He cared more about his 78 page plan, than their feelings!

He clearly played favorites. Did y’all even know Venus and Serena had 3 other sisters and a whole brother before this film? Because I sure as hell didn’t!

And the movie hinted that there may have been more children that weren’t mentioned?

He projected his insecurities onto his children.

But he protected them and supported them like no other.

Despite me hating the beginning (especially since this film is supposed to be PG 13, and all them cuss words and harsh scenes feel like they belong more in a PG 14 film) I have to believe those scenes were added to help show what kind of father Richard was.

He protected them, despite the repercussions.

From the grown ass men in the hood who couldn’t keep their eyes, or nasty thoughts to themselves. From the press, and brands, who wanted to use the girls success for their own gain.

Richard, reminds us what Black fatherhood looks like.

It’s not always easy, because while fatherhood brings a ton of complicated issues on its own, being a BLACK father, with BLACK kids, adds another layer of intensity that only those who live through it could ever understand.

Yet through it all, he stayed, and he fought to protect them. To give them a better life than what he had. To make sure people not only recognized their name, but respected their name!

And isn’t that what fathers are supposed to do?

We watched him uplift his kids, and teach them valuable life lessons at a young age!

Not only did he believe in them, he helped them believe in themselves.

And I can only imagine what that did for their self confidence.

Richard also made sure they had a childhood and focused on education, instead of shoving them into the cruel world, and letting them fend for their own, to make a profit off of their talent.

So while the movie itself may have flaws, and while some may not agree that this is Will’s best work, I can easily say that King Richard is a must watch for all families (with older children) and for all adults.

King Richard reminds us that Black fathers matter, even when they’re not perfect.

And as a single mother, with a Black daughter, whose father seems to struggle with understanding this simple concept. As so many other people do.

I can’t overlook how great this film is, and what it could do for us, if we focus on the real matter at hand here.

This film gave us a Black father, with all his flaws laid out on the table, and showed us that even though he wasn’t a perfect man, a perfect husband, or even a perfect dad, he still mattered!

He helped his daughters become the best tennis players in the world!

And he mattered enough for those daughters to help make an entire movie about him! So I’m begging you all, please don’t miss out on this one.

Don’t ignore an inspiring story about a Black dad!

We already have so few of them.

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Alicha November 21, 2021 - 1:20 pm

Love this review! Some movies aren’t solely about putting the direction or cinematography or etc. in the forefront but also about cultural impact. Definitely inspired me to go have a watch.

Shaye Wyllie November 28, 2021 - 12:48 pm

Thank you!! And YESS! Sometimes the narrative the movie spreads is enough. I hope you enjoyed it!


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