‘King Richard’ proves inspirational


Taryn Robinson, Sports Editor

“King Richard” is the most inspirational movie that has hit the theaters this year. Along with the stories told in movies like “Harriet Tubman” and “The Help”, this movie tells a sad, yet feel-good story that shares a strong message intended for all its viewers.

This story not only tells the story of Richard Williams (played by Will Smith) and his struggles as a father and tennis coach, but it tells the journey of Serena (played by Demi Singleton and most heavily, the progression of her older sister Venus (played by Saniyya Sidney) during the 1980s shortly after they had moved to Compton, California, to further their tennis careers. The movie also shows how close Serena and Venus were to their one older and two younger sisters and how much their mom, Brandi Williams (played by Aunjanue Ellis) did for them behind the work of their father.

The movie starts off with Richard Williams picking up tennis balls that were left at the community park. As the viewer, you then start realizing that Richard and Brandi Williams don’t have the kind of money to support Venus and Serena in their tennis career as much as the average white family would. Richard proceeds to drive the family’s old Volkswagen van to pick up Serena and Venus, along with their sisters to play tennis. At this time, Serena and Venus had been playing tennis for a couple years — Serena at the age of seven and Venus at the age of eight.

Throughout the movie, you can see that Richard knows that he can only help the girls so much, and without professional help, Serena and Venus would never grow to be the competitors he dreamed they would be. He tries to convince numerous coaches, and they all turned him down, without seeing what his two daughters could do on the court. Richard and his daughters were constantly stereotyped by coaches (who were all wealthy and white) who all ended up saying the same thing: “your daughters will never be good enough.” And they all meant what they said, either because of their race, their income, where they were from or gender. Richard would always say something along the lines of, “I wouldn’t be able to pay the normal price, but I can promise you that you won’t regret coaching Venus and Serena… They’re going to shake up this world.” Eventually, he does convince a coach, but for a price that someone would never forgive him for.

Usually, I don’t agree with the ratings that movie critics such as Rotten Tomatoes give movies when they enter theaters, but they gave King Richard a rating of 91 percent, which I can say that I agree with. The only reason why I say it shouldn’t be 100 percent, is because almost the majority of the movie focuses on one of the sisters’ growth as a tennis player, and not so much the other.

I strongly recommend watching this movie not only for inspiration, but to see the other side of the Williams’, before fame and fortune came their way. If there was one take away from this movie, I would say that it doesn’t matter where you come from or what you look like, your determination and will power is what will get you very far in life.