It’s got no explosions in it. It’s got no car chases. There are no sharks with frickin’ laser beams in it either. In fact, The King’s Speech has loads of those actors from those incredibly dull films about Mr Darcy (apparently in the olden days girls swooned at any man with extreme social awkwardness and big sideburns). In fact, old Darcy has the lead role.
So it was with initial reluctance that I agreed to take my wife to see “The King’s Speech”, a film about King George VI, his crippling stammer and his speech therapist, an unconventional Australian called Lionel Logue.
Overall, the film is excellent. Everything is simply superb. In the early scenes of the film you quickly experience the severe cringeworthy awkwardness of being a major public figure and having such a speech impediment. At this stage however, George is still a prince and not even next in line to the throne. George and his wife known to modern generations as HRH The Queen Mother go in search of speech therapists with little success, until they meet Logue. Logue is played superbly as a wayward rebel who treats the prince like any other regular client, much to the disgust of the the royal couple. However, even at their first meeting Logue gets the prince speaking far better than ever before but at this stage he doesn’t realise it. It is only later when the prince hears a recording of himself made by Logue that he realises his success and decides to continue sessions.
The film then gets tangled up the abdication crisis of Edward VIII, and George quickly realises to his dismay that he will soon have kingship forced upon him. He realises that he now needs Logue more than ever and the two become inseperable as George prepares for the coronation. Watching the growth of this friendship is great to see especially since Logue treats the king much like his drinking buddy.
The climax of the film comes when the king must live broadcast a speech at the outbreak of the second world war; a nine minute speech to be heard by every english speaking person on the planet. Logue and the king work together to succeed at this previously impossible task.
The film really is worth watching. The interplay between characters is brilliant and the acting is top notch. The film has a good mix of drama, tension and comedy all rolled in. It’s a bit like a very good historical buddy movie. If you need to gain some brownie points, take your missus to go see it. You’ll hopefully love it too!