Feb 13, 2011

The King's Speech, 2010

The King's Speech, 2010
Director: Tom Hooper
Cast: Colin Firth, Geoffrey Rush, Helena Bonham Carter

Stage: home theatre, the newest version

The King's speech in short:
Tells the story of the man who became King George VI, the father of Queen Elizabeth II. After his brother abdicates, George ('Bertie') reluctantly assumes the throne. Plagued by a dreaded stammer and considered unfit to be king, Bertie engages the help of an unorthodox speech therapist named Lionel Logue. Through a set of unexpected techniques, and as a result of an unlikely friendship, Bertie is able to find his voice and boldly lead the country through war.

Preps: I have seen some excellent critics about this piece. If there is a place for a good piece, now is the time. The whole January was a bit low on good movies, in cinemas, I guess, and I am anxious or hungry for some decent ones. I believe the critics, but I need to see it for myself. The plot doesn't impress me, though. How bad can it be, making public announcements, if they are written by your experts and all you need to do is read them?

Reality: The King's speech drives us in the middle of our worst childhood nightmares - stagefright. How low can you go or how bad can it get, when you are an adult and this wasn't properly addressed, when you were young? I guess there are depths to be discovered here, a true reminder of this movie. Beginning with the worst speech ever (because there wasn't really one to begin with), and followed with a decent approach to address this fear in soon-to-become king (that actually evolves into the king as you follow the movie). The approach reminds me of the one in My fair lady, therefore I am quite amused and it brings me the chills the mentioned My Fair Lady also did. We don't have Elisa here, but Colin Firth in one of his greatest roles ever. It is refreshing to see him in a serious movie and doing a great job while doing it. He feels kind of noble in every piece he does and here he fits in perfectly. The saying, that behind every man, there is a backbone made of his wife, well, this absolutely shows off in this piece, as she is the capital movement of the whole upgrade process - how to make a king truly a king.

Is the king judged by his actions or by his words? I think kings are more protagonists of words and politics, driven by their surrounding officers / knights / ministers and are not really the deciding point in the process of reign. Or driven by their iron wifes. In this case, the king is driven by the crowd (waiting for him not to stumble on the speech) and his loyal near servants / advisors. The obstacle that he faces is simply to big of a burden to handle right until the very end of the piece, when with declaration of war he finally manages to read to the end of the speech. What is the moral in this? Do we need a big challenge or just time, to deal with something that we need to step over and risk all we have to be able to do it? The message is somehow split in the both categories in the King's Speech. The moral would be - keep trying because you will do it if you are certain you need and have to. Somehow similar to the "Where there is will, there will be path". Or simply said.. if you want something badly enough you will do it. In this case I don't think the king wants to do it. He just feels obliged to do it.
A side story about the sad childhood of the king, always being treated second best and being forgotten by his parents - the side story should actually be the milestone or a ground for the main story. Just because his childhood, the king is mute in his speech and emotionally unable to cope with his inner fears. It's not really clear until the half of the movie, where the true problem lies. It is a world we all would like to be a part of or at least sense it in some way for a limited period of time (being on the main stage, royalty, with all the benefits we presume are there). THe movie shows without a doubt, that all these presumptions in our heads are just in our imagination. The reality is a bit similar to our politics - shiny on the outside, rotten on the inside. And who would really want to be a part of this? :)

My personal rating: 8,0 (a truly good piece to think upon what you wish for and what you may get while having it. And on the other hand... to overcome your challenges, you need to face the race).

The King's Speech on IMDB

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