The King’s Speech

I am not particularly a big film buff, but I do enjoy going to see a movie from time to time, as doing so still evokes a sense of occasion. Although I feel that, as screens in a domestic setting are becoming ever larger [I am sure that my 32″ LCD was quite large when I bought it!], the magic of the “big screen” experience will diminish. I have a relatively short attention span and sitting still for a long period is really not my style, but sitting in the dark with the enormous screen and surround sound provides the possibility for keeping my attention.

But that does depend upon what movie is showing …

Although, unlike certain people close to me, I do not believe that I have ever fallen asleep in a cinema [or movie theater, if you prefer], there have been occasions when I have been yawning and looking at my watch well before the end.

Last week we went to see The King’s Speech, having heard good reports from a variety of friends both here in the UK and in the US. I was not disappointed. I did not yawn and look at my watch – I was almost surprised when the movie finished. My attention was grabbed in the early moments of the film and it was firmly held throughout.

The story, as you probably know, is about the current Queen’s father’s ascent to the throne in the 1930s. It was a difficult time, with war looming, and he never expected to be King, as he was second in line. But his brother’s unprecedented decision to abdicate the throne thrust him into the limelight. Previously, his severe speech impediment – a debilitating stammer – was an embarrassing inconvenience; as King it was a major disability. The movie is focused on the story of how he overcame his difficulties.

It is a common cinema technique to get the audience to identify closely with a main character. In this movie, I felt that I identified initially with the discomfiture of his audience and those around him; only later, as he began to progress, did I find that I could put myself in his shoes.

The characters in the movie are very well defined. The casting was excellent and the acting faultless. The attention to detail throughout was superb and I thoroughly enjoyed the depiction of 1930s London. Along with great pace, there was a strong element of humor, which served to make the characters – particularly the royal family – seem more human.

I do not intend to use this blog regularly for film reviews, having done so only once before, I believe, but this movie touched me. I strongly recommend that you go see it. I might even go again myself …

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This article first appeared on the Siemens Digital Industries Software blog at https://blogs.sw.siemens.com/embedded-software/2011/01/27/the-kings-speech/