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Oscars Challenge #27: The King's Speech (2010) Movie Review


King's Speech Poster

There are instances wherein we cannot really speak what is on our minds. As soon as we start spouting out the words and sentences sometimes nothing comes out of it. Then we treat ourselves with silence as if we got embarrassed by someone.


What if you are in a high-ranking position and need to boost the morale of your people but you can't utter correctly your words?


Although deemed historically inaccurate in some instances this movie is a story about King George VI / Bertie (Collin Firth) and how he struggled with his stammer before and during his reign as the king of England. He and his wife Elizabeth (Helena Bonham-Carter) begins to search for a speech treatment but everything fails. She persuades him to talk to an Australian Speech Therapist, Lionel Logue (Geoffrey Rush). He starts off by allowing the King to read a piece from Hamlet while listening to a piece of music and recording the whole session. He then had a meeting with his father who let him read a piece of speech but struggled to do so because of his stammering. Frustrated he lost hope but after listening to the recording Lionel gave him, he realized that he didn't stammer one bit and begin trusting him to fix his speech impediment. His father then dies and the supposed-to-be next to the throne is his brother, Edward VIII however doing so he cannot marry the one he loves. He decides to abdicate the throne and allowed Bertie to succeed. Now with the pressure of being the King and at the same time the need to address the people due to the threats of World War 2. He needs to deliver a long speech broadcasted throughout England with the hope to maintain the morale of the people.


Lionel and Bertie practicing

Again, this is a movie so I don't really care if it's historically accurate or if some events were added for the context of making the film enjoyable as long as it respected history without the need to distort the majority of it.


The King's Speech in my opinion is a very nice lighthearted movie. It mainly focuses on the relationship between the 2 major characters, Bertie and Lionel. They started really bad at first with Bertie occasionally shouting at him out of frustration because he thinks that his stammer is a lost hope and cannot be fixed.


All the actors played their roles wonderfully in my opinion. But everything goes to Collin Firth and Geoffrey Rush. Playing a character that has any kind of impediment is really hard. But his role is not only spot on but well done as well. Meanwhile, I have seen Geoffrey Rush when he played Captain Barbossa in the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise and that character and Lionel Logue are like night and day. Both characters that he played are memorable and very well done.


There are other side characters to note as well, Helena Bonham-Carter, Timothy Spall, and Guy Pearce all played good roles in Elizabeth, Winston Churchill, and Edward VIII respectively. But I am not sure if Timothy Spall is the best person to play Winston Churchill or not. His performance to me although just a minor thing is just okay. Oh and the two daughters of King George VI, Elizabeth II and Margaret are also good supporting characters.


In most of the shots, especially during dialogues, the camera is zoomed in to focus on the character's faces. I don't really know what that means if it is deliberate to show their emotions or just a filmmaking style. Nevertheless, it kind of works well to focus on who is speaking.

Bertie delivering the King's Speech

Another standout in this movie is the message it brings to the audience. No matter how you view this film, it is hands down inspirational. Seriously, if you are feeling down and lacking some inspiration watch this film you might get inspired by just seeing the perseverance of Bertie to overcome his difficulties. Or you can treat this as a motivation to go on.


What the movie lacks though is the constant pacing, There are some points where the movie felt a little bit slow while in some other instances it was a bit too fast. I like these kinds of films to be nicely paced because it contains inspirational pieces that you need to understand and experience. Aside from that a couple of scenes were kinda boring.


Fun fact, Colin Firth was not the first choice for the main role. It was either Paul Bettany or Hugh Grant. Luckily, both actors declined the offer.


Colin Firth also watched several archive footage of King George VI to help him act properly for the role. His determination paid off because he won the Best Actor award.


Lionel training Bertie

The film was written by David Seidler who developed also a stammer and was inspired by King George VI's road to improve his speech impediment. He got amazed because he was a king. While listening to his speeches on the radio, he felt the passion and dedication despite the struggles.


I really do think that even though this movie has its share of controversies and historical inaccuracies, this is still important to watch. To me more than anything this is about overcoming your doubts and adversities as well as valuing friendship. A message that should be shared. Bertie and Lionel are like absolute figures of true friends who rely on each other. The fact that in reality, they remained friends for life should be respected. And to that, I say that this piece of art should be more appreciated.


I give this film a solid 3.5 out of 5 stars.


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