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Film Review: The King’s Speech

This King Is Worthy Of His Throne

By Jyotsna Kumar

We all have our inhibitions and most of us are even consumed by it, but the moment it comes to the ‘F’ word let’s face it, we don’t hesitate at all and so did the King George VI of Britain and the father of The Queen Elizabeth II even though he’s plagued by a dreaded stammer. The King’s Speech is a simple tale of man trying to find his place, moreover trying to boost his self esteem and in his quest ends up making most of us speechless. For those who have not experienced it so far, yes! Colin Firth, director Tom Hopper and Geoffrey Rush deserves all the adulation, awards even FILMFARE if it comes to that because what they have created on-screen was nothing beyond a spectacular cinema (trust me I’m trying to find a better adjective here)

The opening frame of The King’s Speech takes you to the backend of a radio production team busy, giving final touches to the ceremony which is about to commence drawing parallel to the discomfort of THE DUKE OF YORK (Colin Firth) who is about to address his nation and the moment he’s on, the moment he fails. George (Bertie) is a failure in the eyes of his family- his father The King George V, his brother Edward VIII. Struggling to overcome the shadow of his father and brother, his noble wife- The Queen Elizabeth (Helena Bonham Carter) helps him to conquer his most dreadful fear. In her quest she ends up at the doorstep of an unorthodox, failed actor but ‘bloody good’ speech therapist – Lionel Logue (Geoffrey Rush). He is a psycho-therapist, a head strong man who right away laid down his rules- “My turf, my rules” and what begins from there on is a marathon- the beginning of the uncanny friendship of Bertie and Lionel. Through variety of techniques, much hard work, persistence, he prepares him for speech which was heard around the world by radio as England declares war against Nazi’s in 1939. He’s not only his speech therapist but is a friend who can see right through Bertie, his ability to succeed the throne which was initially let out for his elder brother, The King Edward VIII. Due to Edward’s scandalous affair he renounces the throne to his ‘not-so-confident brother’, the Duke of York- George VI.

Lionel Logue is an interesting, eccentric character, the role which is essayed so magnificently by Geoffrey Rush, who is not afraid of the royal highness but is sacred of his wife. The entire characterization of the film is very well defined and is full of grace. And the actors too fitted neatly in to the skin of their characters.

The screenplay of the film is as tidy, neat as its frames. The various therapy sessions are funny and make you want to roll on the floor with laughter. The film doesn’t call for unnecessary drama and moves with a dignified pace just like the royal family. The build up to the climax is nerve wracking. The final speech by the King is enthralling as you too keep your fingers crossed just like the rest of his family, praying with each word that he utters “God don’t let anything go wrong this time”. And if you thought that only Fashion designer John Galliano loves Hitler then let me add one more name to that list, though The King George VI admiration towards Hitler was restricted towards his great ability as an orator.

The King’s Speech leaves you with a mystic irony- as the world prepare itself for the World War II, there was a moment of triumph for the king, his family and friends as he overcomes his biggest weakness-stammering. Don’t miss out on The King’s Speech; it’s a safe bet indeed!

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Comments (3)
  • Brad- 10 years ago

    Good review of a great movie, that I first read about on the web site of The Stuttering Foundation. This is also the source of help for my stuttering. I hope The King's Speech is an encouragement for others to seek help.

  • ravishankar- 10 years ago

    after watching, one can feel oneself confidently that ' i overcame my weakness called stammering'. a complete satisfactory film. kudos 2 director, producers,ferth,carter, rush

  • manjula- 10 years ago

    What a review! Just made me feel like watching the movie again!