“I am the voice of the nation. But I cannot speak.” – King George VI
There are legends throughout history that havenever received true recognition for either the dangers that they have faced, the obstacles they have overcome, or the personal challenges they have swept aside. In the 21st century, one would imagine that we, as a race, would have collected an infinite amount of knowledge of our past and our tribulations; but, as it has been said before, mankind is itself far more fascinated with the wonder of our world; so much so that we never do take note of the wonder within ourselves.
The King’s Speech, directed by Tom Hooper, dictates the extraordinary true – yet seldom told or discussed – story of King George VI of England (Colin Firth), as the monarch, over the course of several years battles – and finally manages to conquer – his stammer, with the help of Australian commoner and speech therapist Lionel Logue (Geoffrey Rush) .
The King’s stammer had, since his childhood, prevented him from properly engaging in normal conversation, or delivering a speech – something which is indeed required of all modern day figures of the monarchy. The film begins in earnest before George VI ascends to the throne; as (as he was known before his coronation) Prince Albert of York seeks treatment for his stammer, eventually meeting Lionel Logue, an Australian immigrant who, using maverick psychological and corrective measures, grooms the Prince to become a confident speaker who is able to control his stammer, and continues to aid at his side after the Prince makes reluctant, yet necessary, impromptu ascendance to the throne, after the death of his father, King George V of England, and his brother King Edward’s sudden abdication to marry an American divorcee, Wallis Simpson.
The King’s Speech is a masterfully created, engaging, and appealing film which captures a remarkable true story in superb fashion. Indeed, The King’s Speech is a film which every member of an audience can identify with individually through the themes explored. What truly is remarkable about the film – more so than the well casted actors who portray its characters, undoubtedly giving the performance of a lifetime – is the orchestration of such common human themes through an intricate story involving one of the most complex of societies; the British Royal Family.
One can not only easily relate to how a true, earnest friendship is gradually formed between speech therapist Lionel Logue and the King, and the King’s ultimate acceptance of an individual whom is so far removed from the royal life and all he truly knows (as George VI had never even truly experienced friendship due to his obligations to the Royal Family and the throne) but also the King’s perseverance and determination to conquer his own personal difficulty, and become one of the most celebrated monarchs of all time.
The King’s Speech chronicles the challenges faced by King George VI in an engaging manner that is truly worthy of the reception lauded upon the film by critics worldwide, and is a film that will no doubt remain fresh in the modern cinematic world as the world delights over the newly wedded great-grandson of King George VI, His Royal Highness the Duke of Cambridge, William, and his bride, Her Royal Highness the Duchess of Cambridge, Catherine.
The King’s Speech is indeed a modern must-see, a sublime treat which audiences across the globe will not only relate to, but thoroughly enjoy the not-often told story that the film presents: a story of how it takes leadership to confront a nation’s fear, but it takes friendship to conquer one’s own.