The King’s Speech.

A review of the 2010 film.

KS1This was not a film I would probably have chosen to see, nor would I have paid to see it at the cinema or bought the DVD. I saw it for the first time because our  Lent Home Group chose a study based on The Kings Speech, starring Colin Firth, Geoffrey Rush and Helena Bonham Carter. After having seen it, I was very glad I did.

It Tells the story of Prince Albert (Bertie) who was to became King George VI, the father of Queen Elizabeth II. After his brother abdicates, to be with Wallace Simpson, George (‘Bertie’) is very reluctant to take the throne, because of his stammer. With his wife’s urging, Bertie employs an unorthodox speech therapist, an Australian called Lional Logue.

The film is set over a period of 14 years and although this is indicated in the film, it is easy to think on viewing that it is set over a much shorter period of time. The writer is David Seidler who, at the request of Queen Elisabeth, The Queen Mother did not publish until until after her death, although it was written earlier.

Compared to Hollywood movies, is was quite low budget but achieved both popular and critical acclaim.

The film does include some profanity which is not gratuitous, being clearly part of the story  not seeming to be exaggerated, from its likely original use, for cinematic effect. The quality of the film as a whole makes it quite easy to forgive an inconsistency in ageing of characters. It is noticeable that Logue’s boys have aged more towards the end of the film, which takes place over a period of 14 years, then the young princesses Elizabeth and Margaret.

A small, but important role in The King’s Speech is Churchill, ably played by Timothy Spall, who from his early days as the hapless Barry in Auf Wiedersehen Pet, is becoming a fine character actor. Helena Bonham Carter was also a pleasure to watch as Bertie’s wife, who was known to many of the readers of this as Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother.

Whilst the story, obviously, centres around Bertie’s speech defect, his stammer, the themes that become apparent are the importance of family, and the friendship, that would become life-long, between Bertie and Lionel and just how much can be accomplished with loving support.

Logue: I believe that sucking smoke into your lungs will kill you.
Bertie: My physicians say it relaxes the throat.
Logue: They’re idiots.

Bertie: They’ve all been knighted.
Logue: Makes it official then.

 

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