A film about a stammering Royal in the King’s Court seemed like an anti-Pygmalion makeover and I passed it over the first time around. Then the reviews started arriving and I noted a whopping, first ever 97% approval from the top critics of “Rotten Tomatoes” (excellent reviews despite the name). I’m very glad I made the effort to see it.
There is lots entertainment variety in the pyrotechnic world of film. “Avatar” engages the audience interactively. “Inception” teases the brain, The audience goes down with the ship in “Titanic”, explores the brain in “A beautiful mind”, weeps copious tears in “The Bridges of Madison County”, gets blown up in “The Hurt Locker”, gets quits in “Gran Torino, taken for a ride in “Quantum of Solace”, time warped in “Groundhog Day” and mind boggled in “2001- A space Odyssey”.
But for the true believer, the real joy of film is divine simplicity. Simple plot, uncomplicated progression of events and actors empowered to take the audience where they are capable relying on a minimalist platform of expression. Such films are “No Country for Old Men” and Get low”. In TV medium, the one series that accumulated the most hoards of rabid fans was “Deadwood” (HBO), a simple film about daily life in an old Western town. “Deadwood” only ran two astonishing seasons and blew away the entire concept of TV drama. Nothing has approached it to this day.
“The King’s Speech” is such a film. The story line expands to the circumstances of Edward VIII abdicating the throne of England for his love of an American divorcee (who comes off quite shabbily in the film). To be replaced by his brother, the quite capable George V but for his stammer, rendering him incapable of the communication necessary for the office. The stuttering king forges an unlikely friendship with an unconventional speech therapist in the midst of the gathering cloud of Nazi Germany.
Colin Firth is simply incredible in his portrayal of the subtleties involved. His range is immeasurable. This is the first time I have seen Helena Carter Bonham really get into a part and own it. But the real kudos go to Geoffrey Rush who effortlessly upstaged every scene. The cinematography and costuming is world class. Even the sound editing enhances every movement.
Simply put- The King’s Speech is a masterpiece. Oscars will litter the stage when it’s called upon in February 12. I predict Best Picture, Best Actor, Best Supporting Actor, best Supporting actress, Best Direction, Best Cinematography at the least. Probably more.
I give it 5 (YES FIVE) of 5 “M-m-m-my Generation’s”. Must see.