Review: The King's Speech

14 01 2011

Friiiiiiiday + a massage this morning… recession? Nobody told me!

Only joking. My cat has more money in her savings account than me, but that’s a different story for a different day.

I actually got a cheap massage at the local college from a massage student in training. I wanted to relax but I was also desperately trying to not come across as a creepy guy who goes for massages at 9.45 on a Friday morning so I ended up chatting like a madman who goes for massages at 9.45 etc etc. I now know she used to swim for the county… no idea what to do with that information.

I went to the cinema this evening to see The Kings Speech, which is a film that is getting a lot of people excited so I went into the screening with quite high expectations. I’m glad to say I wasn’t disappointed; this wasn’t some fusty, dry, fawning dramatisation of the royal family, but a heartfelt, interesting story about a man trying to live up to extraordinary expectations.

The thing that stood out for me most of all were the performances of Colin Firth as King George VI, Geoffrey Rush as the speech therapist Lionel Logue and Helena Bonham Carter as Queen Elizabeth (not that one). I really got a sense of the friendship that formed between the two men and Firth does an excellent job at the beginning of the film of being defensive, tempestuous and incredibly frustrated at not being able to speak.

There was a genuine sense of the King being incredibly scared of his father (George V) and also having a lot of other baggage from his childhood which led to his stammer. He explores this fear with Logue and it’s a really interesting background to a historical figure that some may not know too much about. The audience gains an insight the challenges he faced into his brother’s abdication to be with an American divorcee and the looming threat of war.

I guess my only criticism and I don’t think it’s really a criticism of the film was that I found the Queen a bit nauseating. She was cocky and self important but who’s to say that’s not an accurate portrayal? I think the only way I can explain it is that if a different character in a different film said exactly the same lines, the middle aged ladies wouldn’t have batted an eyelid but because it was a regal figure, you could practically hear the gushing! The King and Logue regarded eachother more as equals which I really found touching however.

A really interesting film and I didn’t think it would be my cup of tea as I really didn’t enjoy The Queen. It will definitely scoop a few awards so I recommend you see it as you will probably be pleasantly surprised.





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