The wireless changed a great many things. Before, all that was required of a monarch was that he look the part, and not fall off his horse. After the king would invade his people’s homes and have to court them with his speech. So King George V of Britain believes, and tells his son. “Bertie” may not be expected to take the throne, but as a member of the royal family he must do his part for duty and the country. And so he is given the job of delivering the closing speech of the Empire exhibit. His older brother, David has performed admirably, as has the king. But Albert has a speech impediment, a stammer. Which of course leads to the feared “dead air”. He visits all sorts of doctors in an attempt to find someone who may be able to help, but it is only when his wife stumbles across Lionel Logue, an Australian actor that he begins to make some progress.
I hadn’t heard of this film a few weeks ago, but all of a sudden everyone was raving about it. And so I had to go. I mean, expectations and hype always lead to good things right? Although, to be fair, with that storyline, if I hadn’t heard the hype I may not have been quite so intrigued. Interested, yes, but I would have waited for dvd apart from the fact that people all over the place will probably be talking about it, and we can’t be left out of the loop. It simply wouldn’t do.
And you know what, this film does live up to the hype. Okay, the plot won’t get you jumping up and down, but it is a finely written, well-acted film. Firth does a superb job as the repressed “stiff-upper lip” type, and Rush is great in his role as the slightly irreverent Aussie. The chemistry between the two is fantastic. You really believe in their relationship, squabbles and differences and all. One or two scenes are simply brilliant. Not only that, but the supporting cast is in stellar form as well, even if many don’t get too much to do.
Of course, films like this also make me very aware of how anti the whole royal thing I am. I mean, who ever thought up this whole royal family nonsense really needs to slapping.
But this isn’t a political film, it isn’t interested in that aspect of royalty it is about one man’s disability and his desire to do his duty to the best of his ability. And the help he recieves along the way, turning into a friendship that he hadn’t had before.
I also found the depiction of the relationship between David and Mrs. Simpson very interesting. I don’t know much about them, apart from the fact that they possibly would have sympathised more with the Nazis than anyone could hope for, but at the same time, isn’t it a strange world where a religion founded because one king wanted to get rid of one wife and marry another refused to recognise divorce? Also the way Wallis was portrayed as some power-mad bint was a bit “it’s the evil woman’s fault”. But, I suppose that was the mentality at the time.
Honestly, this is a really great film, and if you have the chance you should go see it. It is a touching, humorous film with some wonderful acting.