I ended up watching the King’s Speech this weekend at the cinema, even though around me it looked like I was sitting in a plenary of the Leicester Pensioners Brigade, the movie and its storyline was one out of this world.
The film is about King George VI (known in his family circle as Bertie played by Colin Firth), his wife Elizabeth (The Queen Mother played by Helena Bonham – Carter), and the unorthodox Australian speech therapist Lionel Logue (Geoffrey Rush), who helped him overcome the stammer that had affected him since childhood. The movie starts with the scene of 1924 where Bertie who was the Duke of York endures embarrassment as he attempts to deliver a speech at Wembley Stadium during the Empire exhibition. The movie jumps to 1934 and how Logus, in his unorthodox manner helps Bertie overcome his stammer until the crucial live broadcast from Buckingham Palace, where Bertie as King George VI delivers his most important speech.
The movie does play an accurate description of the times and does cover the era of the Great Depression, the rise of Hitler, the Abdication Crisis together with the introduction of the modern communication tool of the wireless radio and how the Monarchy under his father George V made good use of it.
Colin Firth brilliantly plays Bertie as a man whose limitations overcome him, but how he overcomes his fears about the direction of the monarchy under his brother, Edward VIII and his almost immediate abdication in order to marry American double divorcee, Wallis Simpson.
Helena Bonham Carter plays a strong Elizabeth, who has the traditional aura of a royal and how it was obvious from the onset on how in real life the Queen Mother championed the essence of being a royal and how her defiance to stay in London during WWII defined her popularity. Bonham -Carter provides the character with the warm approach which shows how Elizabeth was the pillar of support during the transformation of Bertie into King George VI. Michael Gambon plays a convincing George V, who was incapable of loving his sons. However, occasionally displaying a minor soft spot for Bertie. Historically, King George V had no faith in his heir Edward as he was quoted, “After I am dead, the boy will ruin himself in twelve months,” which did come out to be true. Guy Pearce plays an aloof and arrogant future King Edward, who had his duties to love Mrs Wallis Simpson rather than the affairs of the State. He may have had a reforming zeal as a future monarch, but possibly under his reign if it was long could have seen a demise of the Empire and a possible sympathetic potential head of a Vichy-style state to Hitler.
Geoffrey Rush as Lionel Logue shows how as an unorthodox and eccentric therapist defied each and every law against the norm as he helps Bertie overcome his stammer . Rush portrays Logue as a genius is seldom somebody who is from the norm. In the movie he plays out some characters from the works of Shakespeare, just watching him perform as King Richard III shows how remarkable Rush is as an actor.
The film is a five-star achievement. Firth plays Bertie as a hero who overcomes his stammer to lead as a man worthy of being King when the nation needed leadership in 1939.