Tuesday, 20 August 2013

The King's Speech (2010) - ★★★★½

Director: Tom Hooper
Writer: David Seidler (Screenplay)
Stars: Colin Firth, Geoffrey Rush, Helena Bonham Carter, Guy Pearce, Michael Gambon, Jennifer Ehle, Timothy Spall

The King's Speech is a film that had me grinning like an idiot the whole way through. I just loved this movie. LOVED IT! There are many reasons why. First of all, I think the performances are spectacular. Colin Firth sealed himself as one of the all time greatest actors with his royal performance, and Geoffrey Rush added another flawless performance to his already flawless resume. It concerns one of the most interesting times in British history (IMO), which was accompanied by a masterful choice in music and really effective cinematography. If it weren't for the tiny amount of 'schmaltz' or 'cheese' injected into the storyline, I'd call it a perfect film.

'Mrs. Simpson stole our king!" Is a song that my grandma sung once or twice. Yes, this film involves the scandalous affair of King Edward VIII and his American divorcee lover, Wallis Simpson. BUT, it's about a story that's almost as interesting, which is the stuttering speeches of King George VI. When George's speech impediment starts impacting on his royal speeches, his wife enlists an Aussie speech therapist, Lionel Logue (Geoffrey Rush), to help him speak normally. They're both very different men, George being a hot-tempered monarch, and Lionel a joke-making, informal commoner. When King Edward VIII compromises his position as King of England, George must become King. With war looming, George must learn to fix his speech impediment in order to rule the country with strength and conviction!

The King's Speech is really entertaining, as well as beautiful, posh, and authentic. It's much funnier and more interesting than most period dramas. The dialogue was extremely witty, and at times touching. The success of this film falls mainly on the shoulders of Colin Firth's performance, because it was just so damn good. He may not have looked like the king, but he certainly made up for it with his pitch-perfect impersonation of the man. A scene that gives me chills is when he shouts "BECAUSE I HAVE A VOICE!"

Geoffrey Rush in one of his greatest performances.
Even though Firth was the lead, I feel that Rush's performance was just as important, if not more. I couldn't imagine anyone playing that role better. Rush has perfect comedic timing, a completely believable and likeable personality, and a true Aussie accent. What more could you ask? Helena Bonham Carter gave a brilliant performance, showing her versatility with her royal tone and more reserved performance. You know who surprised me the most? Guy Pearce as King Edward. He played the most believable royal out of anyone, and in my opinion, gave the greatest performance out of them all (when it comes to playing the characters).

The real King George VI
Guy Pearce looks just like King George!
Don't get me wrong, I think Colin Firth gave a perfect performance as George. BUT, I think Guy Pearce would have been the better person to play the role. He clearly has the accent down pat, and he looks almost exactly like King George. Yet Firth got the role! I'm thinking that's because he has more star-power, because Pearce would've knocked the role out of park! I'm just flabbergasted that the person who casted this movie didn't choose Pearce. 

Also, I wasn't too keen on the 'cheese' injected into the film. The touching moments between George and his wife were too much. I'm sure they had their moments, but I feel they went a bit overboard. Especially when they were in public, because monarchs hardly ever let the commoners know their feelings. I feel like they over-simplified a couple of things in the film too, that they had to hold the audiences hand. Therefore, I couldn't call this a perfect movie.

In the end, I found that almost every aspect of the film was flawless. There were so many masterful scenes that I don't know where to start. The whole sequence where George must deliver his speech on the war was not only suspenseful, but powerful. I felt a sense of pride in my heritage, to know that this man went through intense speech therapy to deliver a perfect, rousing speech to the masses. There was a perfect blend of humour and history, with the occasional touching moment budding in. I really loved The King's Speech, and I truly believe it's a better film than The Social Network and Inception. 

1 comment:

  1. It's II WW. Millions are dying on a battle ground, from diseases, hunger, and torture...BUT HOORAY the King managed to overcome his stuttering! What's all the fuss from this movie is about?