Friday, December 10, 2010
The King's Speech
Prince William's recent marriage announcement sets off a new wave of royal frenzy among monarchy loyalties and tabloid, which includes so called mainstream media. His family has been closely watched by the public than any other royal families around the world. Although a film about his mother yet to be made, a film about his great grandfather, King George VI appears to be a favorite among this year's Oscar contenders. Both Colin Firth and Geoffrey Rush are almost surely to get Academy Award nominations for their brilliant performance in "The King's Speech" (UK/Australia 2010 | 118 min.).
Queen Elizabeth's father King George VI (Colin Firth) inherits a job that requires much public speaking. This inevitable duty causes great anxiety and stress for him, because he has a stutter disorder. The King seeks help from an eccentric Australian speech therapist Lionel Logue (Geoffrey Rush). The two develop a unique bond during the struggle to cure King's stammer.
To make a story like this compelling is no easy task, especially not every film goers is a monarchy enthusiast. Luckily, the terrific performances by Colin Firth and Geoffrey Rush make the film worth watching and entertaining. Colin Firth is remarkable for exploring the humanity under the shell of a distant royal figure. Geoffrey Rush might just get another Oscar node for creating his unforgettable character in this film.
Unfortunately, the film is doomed by its story. After all, it is a story about the King's stammer. Although we can certainly understand the King frustration because of the stammer, it is hard for us to sympathize him—if he were applying for this job as the King, he would not have got it based on his qualification. However, he is born to be the King. Therefore he gets the job first, and deals with his shortcoming later.
If you are a working class bloke who is struggling to put bread on the table during the poverty and war in the 1930s, a privileged man's stammer probably is the least thing in your mind to worry about. Why should people care that much about the delivery of the King's speech, as shown in the film?
Yet, the film's Hollywood style climax only makes it even more absurd. When the King delivers a speech about his country's going to war, nobody in the film seems pay attention to what the King is saying. Instead, everybody is focusing on how the King is saying and if the King is stuttering. If that is indeed the case, something is seriously wrong about the British people, besides they drive on the wrong side of the streets.
Prince William is luckier than his great grandfather in giving speeches. When it is Williams's turn to give the King's speech, will his followers pay attention to what he has to say? Or perhaps just how much hair he has left and what he is wearing?