Thursday, March 3, 2011

Totally Random Thursdays – The Kings’ Speech

"Some call it idle chatter but I like to refer to it as totally random........"

Totally Random Thursdays is a meme where I get to discuss anything that pops into my head. TRT is actually one of my older memes that I am trying to resurrect because I had so much fun with in the past. If you would like to view my past TRT’s feel free to do a search in the blog archives.

For my inaugural TRT post, I want to share my thoughts on the movie The Kings’ Speech. I first heard about the Kings Speech from a friend who swore by the movie. Later that week, there was a proliferation of news surrounding the movie due to the fact that it was nominated for a number of the major American films awards.  With that incentive I decided to give the movie a try.

First off, The Kings Speech is a long movie. It is actually close to two hours long. While the length of the film was not a major issue for me, I have to admit that I did lose my concentration throughout the film. The story is centered on King George VI of England who is the father of Queen Elisabeth II the current Monarch on the English throne. The movie takes a snapshot of King Georges’ life with the writers choosing to focus on the king’s stuttering; a disability that plagued him throughout his life.  At a time when Mass Media began to take hold in society and charismatic leaders such as Hitler (yes as ruthless as he was, the man had a way with words) England was in need of a king who would symbolize their strength and resilience. And if that wasn’t bad enough, the kingdom that King George VI inherits is on the verge of dismantling and he has to repair the image of the throne after his brother King Edward VIII abdicates and brings much scandal to it.  Quite a lot of pressure on the shoulders of someone with a speech disorder don’t you think?

Enter Lionel, an eccentric yet gifted speech therapist who takes on the king’s challenge. The relationship that develops is both touching and unique.

As a history major, the story really appealed to me because of the period in which the movie is set.  Events from the past century are still so relevant that you can actually see how it shaped our society today.  The movie also appealed to my communication side as I saw the period as one in which mass media and its off springs propaganda and persuasion were quickly becoming facets of public speech.   In addition to being well groomed, cultured and having a military background, monarchs also had to be eloquent, persuasive speakers.

The casting was spot on and I enjoyed watching Colin Firth being pushed to a new level. It was also great to see Helena Bowman Carter act in a role that does not require her to wear excessive amounts of paste like make up or morgana-esk costumes.  All and all, I thoroughly enjoyed the movie and I think it’s a great story.

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