Sunday, 13 February 2011
The King's Speech
I am not a big fan of Royal dramas or period pieces generally. They often focus on technical beauty, often neglecting character and plot. The King's Speech is a definite exception. A perfectly crafted, beautiful film that fills you with joy. The central characters are beautifully humanised by Colin Firth (King George VI), Geoffrey Rush (Lionel Logue) and Helena Bonham Carter (Elizabeth). All of the lead performances are of Oscar calibre.
This is the story of Prince Albert, Duke of York, who became King George VI, but struggled to correct his speech problems - his stammering unsettles many people, and 'Bertie' needed to solve it for his King's speech to the nation. Many elite doctors come and go, without success in solving the stammering. Until Prince Albert, meets Lionel Logue, an Australian speech therapist whose methods are unorthodox and his approach a bit informal towards royalty. When Prince Albert visits Logue's office in Harley Street, Logue informs him - "My Castle, My Rules". From thereon, an uneasy relationship at first, blossoms into an unusual friendship, as Logue puts his heart into helping 'Bertie' (as he calls him - "Bertie" is only for the family).
Beautiful direction, cinematography, art production and a fine script that is both funny and emotionally touching, the King's Speech is a crowd-pleaser without being cheap entertainment.