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The King’s Speech Review

6 Feb

The King’s Speech: Starring Colin Firth, Helena Bonham Carter and Geoffrey Rush.

The King’s Speech has been saturating the culture columns and awards lists this past month and it is certainly worth the hype.

♥♥♥♥♥ Five Heart Rating.

For me, Colin Firth was not aristocratic enough to accurately portray a member of the royal family, despite impeccable beautiful acting. His looks have been much discussed with regard to the part and it is true that he bears poor resemblance to the King. This, however, in no way detracts or negatively impacts upon the film. (Can, indeed, any film suffer from the presence of Colin Firth?)

The film focuses upon the private, familial life of the King and not on his public impression. His two girls (you’ll recognise Princess Margaret, who is played by Romona Marquez, or Karen from Outnumbered) with their rocking horses and cuddles from Papa, contribute to the unfailingly loveable persona of Colin Firth’s “Bertie”. I am thrilled that Helena Bonham Carter has made a return to costume drama. If you haven’t seen her earlier works, such as Howard’s End, I would recommend them to you (especially those who have preconceived her by judging her most recent work). Her strong, upright attitude as the Queen Mother is astutely portrayed. Forgetting Captain Barbossa’s voice from Pirates of the Caribbean may be difficult; if you can, Lionel Logue who the Queen employs as Bertie’s speech therapist, gives a heart warming performance.

Comedic moments are balanced with the serious, compelling notion that George’s speech is an inevitable future, given the film’s title. The cutting between the crowds, the King and Lionel and the family gathering whilst he delivers the final speech creates the dislocating emotions the King surely is feeling, but again this is balanced with Lionel’s comedic swearing and conducting. The parallels construed between the ‘everyman’ family of Lionel Logue and the royal family are brilliant at emphasising the theme of family relationships in the film. The truly debilitating nature of the King’s stutter is seen from all points of view: the doctor, who feels the expectation to cure him and also the yearning to help a friend; the girls who are just innocently delighted for the Papa and the Queen who is supportive and loving throughout.

You’ve got to see it. If my review hasn’t convinced you I’m sure social pressure will! You are expected to have seen it and have made your judgement. Is Colin Firth right for the role of a King? (Was he even ‘right’ for Mr Darcy?) Have your expectations of Helena Bonham Carter changed? Do you think little Karen/Princess Margaret has a bright future or is she type-casted? If you don’t know your answers you will be socially reprimanded for being totally out of the loop!

Favourite Quote:

Lionel Logue: [as George “Bertie” is lights up a cigarette] Don’t do that in here.
King George VI: Why not?
Lionel Logue: Sucking smoke into your lungs will kill you.
King George VI: My physicians tell me it helps to relax the throat.
Lionel Logue: They’re idiots.
King George VI: They’ve been knighted.
Lionel Logue: Makes it official then.

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