Monday, 7 March 2011

The King's Speech

Historical Dramas do not appeal to me in any shape or form if I am honest and the big hype following the release of the film geared me up for disappointment, making it seem as if the film was over-rated. This was not the case at all; it deserved its 7 Golden Globes and 4 Oscar awards. I thought I had to give it the chance it earned from the whole buzz. I found it to be an intellectual and brilliantly humorous British film.
If you are unknown to the basic plot of the movie, it follows The Duke of York, George VI, or by his birth name known as Albert Frederick Arthur George, on his journey to his impromptu rise to the throne of King due to his father’s death and brother, David’s (Guy Pearce) abdication; who I may say gives both a harsh but strong portrayal. However there is the slight problem of George (or Bertie as his family call him) having a stammer. This is where Geoffrey Rush who plays Lionel Logue, George’s unorthodox speech therapist; found by his supportive wife Elizabeth (Helena Bonham Carter). They begin on this rather strange relationship leading to Lionel calling George Bertie and making sure that he is worthy enough and accomplish the king’s speech to the country leading them into the War.
Colin Firth’s portrayal of a man enduring from an insufferable stammer, who thinks he is unworthy of the throne, is absolutely superb! He gives both a warm and sympathetic as well as a powerful performance as the Duke of York. You seem him both be comfortable and struggle with his stammer even at home with his 2 little princesses, Elizabeth (Freya Wilson) and Margaret (the fantastic Ramona Marquez from the fabulously funny British sitcom, Outnumbered). Right from start to finish you feel for him deeply, his struggle and frustration entice you in massively. Ranging from antagonism to leadership and deep and heartfelt emotion, all whilst playing the role of a stammer sufferer; he is just an all round astounding actor!
Helena Bonham-Carter plays a brilliant Queen Elizabeth; she has definitely converted me to watch more of her movies. Her supportive attitude towards her despairing husband is warming and really keeps the film going at a calm and sympathetic pace. But I am afraid Rush definitely wins my heart on the supporting role side of things. His cheeky remarks and profane lessons occasionally insult those around him, and the nature of their relationship is often antagonistic. The one thing His Royal Highness can’t argue with, however, is the final results; and may I add, many of the scenes whilst undergoing speech therapy (especially the one that shocked me with mounds of swear words) both Firth and Rush bring a sense of wit and silliness to this serious period drama. The term ‘bro-mance’ has been thrown about a lot between the relationship of Colin Firth and Geoffrey Rush in this magnificent film, and rightly so.
In directing terms it is a magnificent masterpiece, Tom Hooper did this screenplay exceptionally proud. Although he is unfamiliar to me, being more of a TV director other than film, I am sure he will now accomplish more film extravagances and I will be one to follow him and his enchanting style.
Congratulations definitely go to David Seidler and his marvellous screenplay. Always wanting to write about George VI, Seidler found the surviving son of Lionel Logue, Dr. Valentine Logue and decided to write to him in 1981. In turn, Logue was keen to talk with Seidler and even share the notebooks his father kept while treating the King, but on the condition that he received "written permission from the Queen Mother" first. Upon writing to her, Seidler received a reply from her private secretary, asking him not to pursue the project during her lifetime. Consequently Seidler abandoned the project in 1982. Then 20 years later unfortunately The Queen mother died, but Seidler didn't start the work on it until 2005. Eventually he wrote the first draft of his screenplay, and his then-wife and writing partner suggested that he rewrite it as a stage play. She felt that the "physical confines of the stage would force him to focus on the key relationships in the story, without the distractions imposed by concern for cinematic technique."
And actually, nine weeks before filming, Logue's notebooks were fully discovered and quotations from them were incorporated into the script. When writing the script, Seidler discovered that his own uncle, also named David and also a stutterer, had been sent to see the speech therapist Lionel Logue by his father; giving this film even more meaning to the Seidler family.
All in all, if I have not expressed it enough, it is an all round brilliant British film in all its historical and humorous glory. Each bit from the cast to the cinematography (great work by Danny Cohen by the way on this part) right to the beautiful soundtrack by the excellent Alexandre Desplat. The beginning establishes the characters wonderfully and the ending is so inspiration and touching for both our nation and for the beloved King George VI.
Result: Proud to be part of the Great British history that is found behind this astounding film. 10 stars!

No comments:

Post a Comment