Thursday, January 20, 2011
Movie Review: "The King's Speech"
Most men can speak, though not many actually have a voice. Now, take this for example: What if one has a voice, but is unable to speak? What does one do? That is the central idea of director Tom Hooper's movie, The King's Speech, featuring magnificent performances from Colin Firth and Geoffrey Rush, as King George VI (Firth), the King of England who stammered, and speech therapist, Lionel Logue (Rush).
George VI was the King of Great Britain during the second World War, and well known for being the father of current Queen of England, Elizabeth. What this movie deals with isn't the usual propaganda material to try and make you think how majestic or grand a king he was, but it is the opposite, it shows all of his weaknesses to let us know that even someone as great as that is still human, that the human triumphs of bravery and determination can overpower any of our own shortcomings. Yes, even a stutter.
The most magnificent part of the movie is the relationship between George and Logue, as the two men develop a friendship whilst Logue tries to teach George how to talk like a king should. The saddest part, is that people don't want to hear a king who stutters, so he must agonizingly torture himself in his own fears and self-pity, but that is a different matter altogether, what is the matter of the movie is how the unorthodox relationship between Logue and George is what actually makes George the king he becomes. Yes, George manages to overcome his stutter when it comes time for him to deliver his first wartime speech deriding Hitler in the climax, but Logue actually gives George the confidence that he is a brave and strong man worthy to be king. George is continuously throughout the movie plagued with doubts about whether or not he could be king because of his disability, but Logue manages to use psychology to get to know the man beneath the stutter, and we as the audience agree with Logue when George's brother, David abdicates the throne of England in order for George to be the king England deserves.
Sad to say, the movie often drags in the moments where it deals more so with world history and less with George's impediment, in particular the long scenes in the middle when George's father dies, which could have easily been handled in a simple line of expositional dialogue and kept us more so in the story of George's and Logue's friendship. Regardless, this is a special movie that is uplifting, enjoyable, and filled with marvelous acting performances, myself being quite frankly stunned by Guy Pearce's portrayal as George's brother David or Timothy Spall's invigorating role as Winston Churchill.
I give The King's Speech an A!