Friday, February 18, 2011

The King's Speech [2010]

Director: Tom Hooper
Cast: Colin Firth, Geoffrey Rush, Helena Bonham Carter, Guy Pearce
Genre: Drama
Rating: General
Comment: "The uplifting effect might be lost on non-Brits, but still it is as good as an underdog story as any..."

A biopic of King George VI, whose ascension to the throne was met with looks of embarrassment from those around him, due to his severe stammer. Together with a speech therapist, the King must overcome his pride and ego if he were to overcome his stutter as well, and eventually become the voice of a proud nation.

What to Expect
1. His rise to being more than a man with great authority
2. An almost documentary-like account of events surrounding King George VI
3. Good performances by Colin Firth and Geoffrey Rush
4. A good underlying message

What NOT to Expect
1. A fast-paced movie 
I don't pretend to know or care much about monarchy, and I have no idea just how significant are the events in the movie. Therefore I went into the movie with practically no expectations, taking it all as it is. I don't know, maybe it's just the fact that I'm not British, but I find that while it was indeed a good movie, I feel the same way about The King's Speech as I do about The Social Network [2010]; good movies with too much hype.

But I suppose you could turn a blind eye on all the trophies this flick brought home, and just focus on the story and its historical significance.

Of course, a major appeal of the movie is the underdog nature of it. Everybody loves an underdog story, only this time it's not about a basketball team, a posse of breakdancers, or an out-of-luck musician. This is a historical drama about King George VI, whose speech impediment inflicted some sort of an emotional scarring to Britain. So you can see how this is a breath of fresh air as far as inspirational movies go.

We tend to forget that no matter how high up a person can get, he or she is still human. But still, being born with a royal spoon in his mouth means you can't really use that as an excuse. Some responsibility you just can't tiptoe around. Which is how the Prince eventually lowered his ego and consulted a commoner with a reputation for his unconventional methods.

Despite the movie taking some liberties by giving it a higher sense of urgency; the actual time span was shortened. Although that's hardly a weakness, strangely the it all still felt somewhat dragged out a tad too long, giving a Rocky-esque feel to it at certain times.

It's hard to say if this movie would be on top of my head if I were to recommend some good movies to watch, I just feel like this is one of those movies that would benefit from a second viewing. Therefore I think it's fair for the time being to award it with a B+ rating.

Owh, if you're curious, one of the speeches by the actual King George VI can be seen here.

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