‘The story of King George VI of Britain, his impromptu ascension to the throne and the speech therapist who helped the unsure monarch become worthy of it.‘
I think this movie was a victim of its own hype. I had heard so many rave reviews about it that I finished the film feeling slightly let down. I still enjoyed the movie, but it wasn’t the amazing piece of cinema that everyone had been raving about. I’m glad that I watched it, but I don’t think I’ll be rushing to see it again anytime soon.
The opening to the movie was brilliant, I really felt for Prince Albert (Colin Firth) as he was standing in front of the crowd, trying to force out the words he had been given while ignoring the pained expressions on the faces of the people around him. Throughout the movie, the horror he feels at the idea of public speaking is conveyed masterfully, and the microphone in front of him feels like a true malevolent presence.
Unfortunately, the movie seemed to lose a little steam along the way. We are treated to the usual montage of the wacky techniques that Lionel Logue (Geoffrey Rush) uses to treat him, but the up and down nature of the treatment never seems to be going anywhere. The story outside the therapy sessions starts to be interesting, but it glosses over almost every important thing that was happening at the time (and there was a lot going on at the time). While the movie was at its core about the relationship between the two men, I think it would have benefited by covering the turbulent times, and the effect they must have had on the King.
The final scenes surrounding the titular speech really pulled me back into the story, and I finished the film with a smile on my face. This is an inspirational tale that is conveyed beautifully by a group of actors that deserve all of the awards they have won for this movie. I didn’t lose interest in the middle of the story because of their performances, but because of the way the story was being conveyed. I think that a great deal of the strength of the movie is in the way that Colin Firth, Geoffrey Rush, and Helena Bonham Carter really sold their characters. Without the chemistry they showed on-screen, this movie would have felt very empty.
Overall, this is a very good movie, and I think that I would have rated it higher had I gone in with no prior knowledge. It’s well worth seeing, but I don’t think that it will ever be considered as one of the must see historical dramas.
What I Liked – Great performances. Wonderful visual style to convey the King’s terror at public speaking.
What I Didn’t Like – The middle of the movie drags on a bit.
Rating – 3.5 out of 5 (Enjoyable)