As my winter break is winding down, I find myself finally completely recovered from the stress of finals and getting back home in one piece but I also see that I’m losing precious free time to see movies and make food. It’s a tad disappointing that I’ve just now found my groove of being home and not having a whole lot going on just as my break is coming to a close but alas I am going to make sure I use the next few days to my advantage.
So yesterday was the jam but today was a trip to the movies to see The King’s Speech starring Colin Firth, Helena Bonham Carter and Geoffrey Rush. The King’s Speech takes place at the brink of World War II in England. The people of Britain and the Royal Family find themselves without a monarch with the death of King George the V. When King Edward VIII suddenly abdicates himself from the throne, King George the VI finds himself thrusted upon the throne. With the country barely holding itself together knowing that a war with Germany is impending, King George the VI needs to be the glue that will help keep the country together but a speech impediment that he has faced his whole life stands in the way of his success as a great leader for his country. With the help of a speech therapist with unusual methods, Lionel Logue, King George the VI is able to conquer his impediment and become the leader and voice of assurance for a country in desperate need of both.
Colin Firth plays King George the VI and is absolutely brilliant. Firth shows us a character that is undeniably awkward but still resolute in knowing that his country needs him to be strong despite an impediment that has been his “kryptonite” his entire life. Helena Bonham Carter plays his wife, Elizabeth, the future Queen Mother. I’ve always known Helena as Bellatrix Lestrange in the Harry Potter films and if you’re like me, seeing her now all prim and proper with her pearls and fur shawls and being addressed as “Her Highness” I find myself having to reconsider the actress that I thought I was watching in her films. Bonham Carter and Firth are very believable as a loving husband and wife forced to face the roles that they were always sure were never to be their’s. Lionel Logue is played by Geoffrey Rush who is also known for his role as Barbosa in the Pirates of the Carribean series. Seeing Rush in this more polished role versus his role as the tough and sometimes cruel Barbosa was also very surprising and just like with Bonham Carter, I find myself having to reconsider Rush as an actor as well.
The best thing for me was getting the chance to learn about this true story. I’ve always been fascinated with the Royal Family ever since I discovered my ancestral connection to the Duke of Norfolk, the uncle of the famous Boleyn sisters. I’m sure that there are many stories that the Royal Family could share about their members but I also am sure that the Royal Family is a private one and I think that it is really great that they were okay with sharing this story with the world. Another great part about this movie was of course seeing King George the VI do better and better with his speech impediment but also seeing King George the VI, or as he is sometimes referred to in the film as “Bertie”, and Lionel Logue, an un-certified and unorthodox speech therapist and commoner, form an amazing and unlikely friendship. Sure they weren’t immediately great friends from the start, and they weren’t always great friends throughout the film but their friendship develops into a lifelong one and I think that is one of the great things about this story.
Go see The King’s Speech if you like true stories based on historic events. Go see The King’s Speech if you like watching movies about unlikely friendships. Go see The King’s Speech if you like to watch movies where the protagonist is able to fight and win the battle that he faces throughout the story. Seriously just go see The King’s Speech. This movie is entertaining and interesting and I think it would be a shame if you let it pass you by.