As with a lot of people that happen to know me in real life, it will come as no surprise that I do, in fact, have something of a speech problem which causes very few people to understand me. The rest to not get a word I say. Plus, when I happen to speak in front of people, unless those people are like family to me, the words I will say will be stuttered a bit and hard to speak. This is not nor ever caused by choice, but by how I was born and the life I am leading. The same can be said about King George VI in this wonderful film about his struggle to overcome his own speech problems.
Watching this film, it is clear that Tom Hooper wants to stress the themes of courage, self respect, and power to overcome problems to an extreme amount. With this film, each of those themes is somehow present in one way or another. To be honest, it is a little tiresome, but appropriate for this film regardless. The other thing about the direction I liked was how he was able to make the character of King George VI (or Bertie as he is called in the film) more real and less like the idea of a king. When we think of kings, we think of them as powerful, huge, fearsome men that at any moment could have you killed. Here, Hooper as the king be played as a troubled, scared man who is just trying to deal with his life at hand. So, does he do a great job? No. But, for this film and what it needed, he done a rather exceptional job. The only other thing that stood out would have to be the influence of Stanley Kubrick that was used in numerous scenes. If you were to look at Kubrick's film 'Barry Lyndon', then look at this film, then other than the fact that these are both period pieces, the attention to detail in every scene plus camera movements are very reminiscent.
In 2011's Academy Awards, Colin Firth won the award for Best Actor in a Film. Now, I have a love hate relationship with Firth. He has been in some decent films and some horrible pieces of crap that I try to forget. Here, I am shocked at the dedication he puts into his performance. Everything from how he speaks to his reactions are outstanding to behold. But the thing that makes this performance even more memorable is how much of himself he puts into this character. Now, I am on the edge if he should have won his award for this film, but out of respect for him due to his performance, I am just going to say that this was an award well earned. The other actor I need to mention would have to be Helena Bonham Carter as Firth's wife in this film. Think back to every film Carter has been in. If you do, you will notice that she usually portrays dark, villainous, and typically psychotic female antagonists or antiheroes. Here, she plays a character that is almost the complete opposite of that. Here she plays her character to be carrying, sympathetic, and above all else, filled with love. Seeing her in this role shows me more of her talent then any film by Tim Burton or any of the Harry Potter films can show me. She is truly a good actress and worthy of her nomination for Best Actress (lost out to Natalie Portman for Black Swan).
The rest of this cast is wonderful. Geoffrey Rush, Guy Pearce, Timothy Spall, they all do their roles with justice and power. Plus, how they delivered the dialogue for this film is a step up from your more recent period drama. Looking back on these costume dramas, the actors usually put on a fake accent, suck in a bunch of air, and then talk without knowing the full extent of what they are saying. Here, I love the acting because they show that they have an understanding of what is going on, the level of severity of the circumstances,
For the rest of this film, I will say that from the soundtrack to the script, this is a film that knew it had an important message to tell and that the royal family would not be pleased if a mockery was to have been made on this piece of cinema. What is the message of this film? Believe in yourself and you will overcome any and all problems you have. They may not be gone, but they can be overpowered to an extent. This is a wonderful film and one that should be required viewing in speech classes due to what is shown in this film. So, closing this review, in the words of the DVD/ Blu-Ray trailer: All Hail The King!