The King’s Speech

Last night, I went to see the Oscar-winning movie “The King’s Speech”.

It was fascinating – I have never looked seriously at the history of English Kings, except to mug up some of the history stuff way back in secondary school. I vaguely recalled the abdication of the English Throne by King Edward VIII. That’s about it.

This movie depicted the role of the prime ministers in the Constitutional Monarchy of Great Britain. Twice the prime minister appears in this movie – once to tell Bertie (Colin Firth) that Kind Edward VIII would not be allowed to marry a commoner and continue as the King, and the second appearance was to tell King George VI (Colin Firth) that he was resigning as war-time prime minister, to be replaced by Neville Chamberlain. The advanced interplay of the Monarch and the elected Prime Minister was very interesting to watch. Of course this was not the highlight of the movie, but I thought I would mention.

The movie was all about how common a King can really be – Colin Firth amply demonstrates this when he kept visiting Lionel Logue at his Hurley Street Clinic for speech therapy. There are several instances in the movie which shows how a potential King can stoop down to the level of the commoner – especially the one when Lionel Logue and Bertie take a walk. That walk has some very interesting conversation, but ultimately it leads to a split between the two men when Bertie slangs Lionel regarding his parentage – “you are after all the son of a brewer”.

I would give an overall rating of 8 out of 10 for this movie, but 8.5 to Colin Firth and 9 to Geoffrey Rush (Lionel Logue). Great acting by two great actors, and the dynamics of the play was brought out exceedingly well by the Director of the movie, Tom Hooper.

The movie has been well directed and the cinematography was outstanding, but I do not think the movie deserves the “Best Picture” award at the Oscars. I believe there are better movies for that award. Colin Firth’s best actor award, though, was well deserved.

I am sure all of us have different opinions, but this movie is one not to be missed. The story could have been woven in a more detailed manner, but the time limit would have dictated the current version I guess. The depth of the story was only palpable, needs to be more descriptive given the royal nature of the movie. It is difficult today to relate to Monarchy.

Enjoy the movie !


Vijay Srinivasan
12th March 2011


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