Every once in a while, an artistic production is so well done that it not only leaves you in your seat laughing or crying in turns, but it teaches you at least one new concept by the end. The movie “The King’s Speech” is one such admirable production.
To date, “The King’s Speech” has won seven Bafta Awards and has been nominated for 12 Academy Awards. Such a high number of awards and nominations would lead one to think that this movie is good, but it is better than that; it is great. Throughout this move, I was left in stitches of laughter, on the edge of my seat with worry for the characters, and in awe of the challenges that King George VI overcame in both his personal and professional life as the king of England during World War II.
Actor Colin Firth plays the part of Bertie, who is later known as King George VI after his coronation. With amazing grace and talent, Firth portrays Bertie’s struggle with a severe stutter. Bertie’s speech impediment has kept him terrified of speaking in public, despite it being a necessary component of royal life. During the movie’s timeline, wireless radio rises to the forefront of communication, which only represents another obstacle for Bertie.
After dozens of speech therapists and failed attempts to remedy his condition, Bertie’s wife, Elizabeth (Helena Bonham Carter), pushes him into seeing Lionel Logue (Geoffrey Rush). Logue’s unique treatments provide Bertie with more than a way to overcome his stutter, but with the support and understanding of a friend, a precious commodity that many of us take for granted in our everyday lives.
When Bertie’s older brother abdicates the throne for a scandalous affair, Bertie faces the choice of sitting in the “hot seat” or leaving his country without a leader as war with Hitler rises immanently in the east.
The entire cast of “The King’s Speech” works together to bring history alive and to show that simply because a person is royal, that does not mean that life is easy. This movie does not conclude with a great action scene, the dawning of a new age or any other major event that one might expect at the end of a great movie. Instead, it leaves viewers with a simple radio broadcast that is by no means easy for King George VI to give or for viewers to hear.
With this fateful speech, King George VI announces that England is officially at war with Germany, and its powerful words still resonate today. “The King’s Speech” eloquently builds viewers up for this closing speech and leaves them wanting to applaud the character’s growth with the English masses at its conclusion.
This astonishingly true story is definitely worth a trip to the Redbox machine, a viewing from Netflix or a purchase of the DVD outright, although the latter will have to wait for its release. And if you have six minutes to spare, I strongly suggest that you take a listen to King George VI’s actual speech on YouTube. There is also a direct link to this speech from “The King’s Speech” official website at http://www.kingsspeech.com/index.html.