The King’s Speech is a pun. Well, the title is a pun. It’s all about how King George VI came to be in power and how he’s had to deal with his embarrassing speech impediment. All of this being based on a very true story that, my guess, few people knew about. Okay, maybe people knew about it, but I know I didn’t until hearing about this movie. And I want to assume the many Americans may have been ignorant to this fact as well. But I don’t want to get into a discussion about today’s society that can’t be bothered with history or foreign relations so let’s talk about the movie.
I’ve seen Colin Firth in a number of roles but I think I liked him best in this one. He always seems committed to whatever character he plays, but due to having to mimic the stutters and stammers of a royal figure, I’m sure that bumped his acting cred a few notches if not a whole milestone. In other words, I was very impressed and I felt very sympathetic towards his character whenever he had to speak. Especially in front of people. Thousands if not millions of people. I felt his embarrassment. I know what it’s like not wanting to speak or not thinking you have what it takes to speak to a room full of people… and surely you’re thinking “I sound like an idiot and they all know it!” But that was my personal connection to it. I don’t have a speech problem that I’m aware of other than ramming words together and occasionally making a few up. (Indoob.)
Then comes Geoffrey Rush, or Lionel, as he’s called in the movie. He is contacted by the King’s wife to help him speak clearly. Although I’m getting ahead of myself. The King was not yet king at this point… he was a duke. His father was still in power before he died, then it went to his elder brother who was only a king a short while before passing the crown to George. And George was actually Prince Albert, or Bertie, as he was called by those closest to him, including Lionel. Lionel and Bertie had a rocky and stiff relationship at first, but it was inspiring to watch them grow into something more of a friendship.
Something that stood out to me about this film, technically, is the way the film was shot. I found it visually striking how certain shots were composed or the angle at which characters were viewed. It didn’t necessarily take me out of the story, I just liked the perspective of what we were shown on screen. Another scene I enjoyed visually is late in the film when Lionel and Bertie are having a discussion while walking outside. It looks like a cloudy or hazy or foggy day, but the sun is still shining, and at one point, the sun is shining into the camera and giving us silhouettes of our heroes.
Due to this film being based on a true story, I don’t know if there’s a spoiler line or not, so for the sake of not spoiling it, I’ll just say I really enjoyed the last act of the film. Again, the title comes into play as the King needs to make a very important speech regarding WWII, one of the most important speeches of his life. Can he do it? Will his legacy be tarnished? The movie had a satisfying ending and I walked away feeling inspired and even educated on some history. I would say this is possibly one I might want to own. Still debating that.
It is rated R for a couple scenes of some adult language. I heard a debate about if this scene was necessary and could be or should be cut out for a lesser rating. I vote no. There’s a reason for the swearing and it’s actually therapeutic for Bertie’s character, if not a bit humorous as well. Other than that, the film is safe for anyone to watch… But I still wouldn’t recommend it to kids unless they are studying English royalty in high school. I think kids would find this boring as well as many adults I know.
And if you haven’t heard, it’s nominated for 12 Oscars. I don’t foresee a clean sweep, but if it does, kudos for them. It will probably win Best Picture and Best Actor, and Colin Firth deserves that win, indoob.