The King’s Speech

The historical drama “The King’s Speech” won the Academy Award in 2011 for best picture. Tom Hooper directs Colin Firth as King George VI who suffers from a debilitating speech impediment. With the help from his wife Queen Elizabeth, (Helena Bonham Carter), they enlist the help of an unorthodox speech therapist Lionel Louge (Geoffery Rush). King George VI and Lionel form a friendship as he helps the King overcome his stammering.

 

The Oscar winning picture is bookended with King George VI giving a speech. They both have a dramatic affect. In the opening scene we can see that he does not have much confidence in himself. Throughout the entire speech the king stammers. Those in attendance as well as his wife seem to have sympathy for him. When the king starts to give his address in the closing scene there is only one person near him, Lionel, the only person other than his family that he feels as if he can be himself around. As King George VI continues his speech he becomes more confident to the point that by the middle of his address he is not stammering or pausing as much.

 

One of the few dramatic scenes that evoke emotion is when King George V dies. King Edward VIII breaks down and cries on his mother’s shoulder then storms out the room. We feel the pain of King Edward VIII and most of us can relate to his pain of losing a father and feeling the weight of responsibility on our shoulders. Meanwhile King George VI shows up at Lionel’s office after his father’s death. This scene evokes emotions because it is at this time the king starts to truly open up. They have a great bonding experience. For the first time the king drinks with Lionel. King George VI also lets lose and answers Lionel’s questions so that he can paint a model airplane. In another sequence Lionel and the king are in Westminster Abbey preparing the King George VI to be crowned. There is a lot of emotions mixed in this one scene. The audience finds out that Lionel is not an accredited speech therapist. King George VI is furious that Lionel does not have any credentials and feels that he was lied to. As King George VI yells at Lionel we can feel the tension as well as sorrow. At this point we have come to love Lionel, so when he is yelled at we know that he is still a good guy who has done a lot to help the king.

 

Throughout the film there are many entertaining moments, like those mentioned above, but the majority of the movie is quite dull. In one scene Queen Elizabeth is meeting Lionel for the first time. In this sequence the only thing that goes on is talking. This is the point where the movie starts to go very slow and get boring. For a historical drama there is not much drama.

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