King George VI: If I am King, where is my power? Can I declare war? Form a government? Levy a tax? No! And yet I am the seat of all authority because they think that when I speak, I speak for them. But I can’t speak.
The King’s Speech is a biopic on Prince Albert, Duke of York (Colin Firth) who later becomes King George VI after the death of his father, King George V, and the abdication of his brother, King Edward VIII. King George VI, who has suffered from a speech impediment all his life, meets Lionel Logue (Geoffrey Rush), an Australian speech therapist, whose unorthodox and controversial methods of treatment put them off to a rough start. Eventually, the two of them form an unbreakable bond as Logue serves as a friend and part-time psychiatrist over the course of treatment. With the country at the brink of war and in need of a leader, King George VI would go on to overcome his stammer and deliver a radio-address that will inspire his people and unite them in battle.
Lionel Logue: I believe sucking smoke into your lungs will kill you.
King George VI: My physicians say it relaxes the throat.
Lionel Logue: They’re idiots.
King George VI: They’ve all been knighted.
Lionel Logue: Makes it official then.
I think it’s safe to say I was blown away by The King’s Speech. When it started with Prince Albert’s speech at Wembley Stadium, my eyes watered because you can see and feel how hard he tries to utter those words but it just wouldn’t come out. It was heartbreaking. The mood lightened up when Prince Albert meets Logue, whose unconventional methods (blasting classical music, jaw relaxing, rolling on the floor, singing and swearing among others) improves his condition. They soon become friends and confidants, which proves helpful as Logue helps find the root of Prince Albert’s stammer.
Lionel Logue: Do you know the “f” word?
King George VI: F-f-f-fornication.
One of my favourite scenes involves Logue provokes Prince Albert to start swearing, since his anger helps to fuel smooth enunciation, and the result is excellent. It also spreads a little to the titular speech at the end, when Logue mouths some swear words to ease the flow of speech.
Lionel Logue: Forget everything else… and just say it to me.
Both Colin Firth and Geoffrey Rush delivered truly brilliant performances. You can literally feel the frustration and desperation of Prince Albert each time he tries to speak. Whereas, the character of Lionel Logue is animated and quirky without being over the top. I liked those scenes whenever both of them appear onscreen together. Meanwhile, there were a few Harry Potter alumni in the cast: Helena Bonham Carter as Elizabeth, wife of Prince Albert aka Bellatrix Lestrange; Michael Gambon as King George V aka Dumbledore and Timothy Spall as Winston Churchill aka Peter Pettigrew/Scabbers.
King George VI: ‘Cos you’re b-bloody well paid to listen.
Lionel Logue: Bertie, I’m not a geisha girl.
Go watch it – 5 out of 5 stars!
As at time of post, Colin Firth won Best Actor at the 17th Screen Actors Guild Awards and 68th Golden Globe Awards among others and the movie leads with 12 nominations at the 83rd Academy Awards.