Of course I had to see this highly praised movie sooner or later. Now it happened much sooner than I thought. Why? Well, I had absolutely no interest in this movie. Seriously. Everything I saw from it was boring with a little funny sprinkled in. So did the movie manage to change my opinion? Lets find out.
I think we can all agree that the movie can’t (and I mean cannot!) be perfectly historical accurate. So I will not go into details there. If you’ve seen the trailer or anything about the film then you surely know it’s about King George VI/Prince Albert (played by Colin Firth) and his problem with stammering. Especially in the first half of the movie we see Prince Albert kind of broken. Without any self-esteem. Fighting with his speaking problems. We also see his loving wife Elizabeth (Helena Bonham Carter) trying to help him. Bonham Carter plays this part very nicely. You can see her character suffer when her husband again and again fails to deliver a fluid speech. She desperately wants to help him. So it comes that Elizabeth reaches out to a pretty unconventional Doctor. He is specialized in helping people with stutter/stammer problems… only his methods are a little different. Prince Albert, even with all his problems, is a proud man. He knows where he’s coming from and who his family is. So the first sessions between him and Doctor Lionel Logue (played by Geoffrey Rush) are difficult. Lionel really wants to help him but Prince Albert is stubborn, has built a wall around himself. (That really reminded me of myself. I’m a lot like that… more often than I want to.) The Doctor doesn’t give up and eventually makes the Prince understand what’s happening. All that leads into progressively better free speaking from Prince Albert.
In the meanwhile a lot of family things happen with the Royals and suddenly the Prince is King George VI. Albert’s brother originally was intended to take over that position but certain circumstances made him step back. Albert decides to take that burden on himself. Not knowing how to do it when he’s not even able to deliver a fluid speech. Since all that happens in the 1930s a new invention started to spread like a virus. And that was radio! So to keep in touch with the ordinary people there had to be a loooot of speeches! Albert knows that and is really desperate.
Soon the Doctor and him have break throughs, understand a lot of things that happened in the childhood of Albert and eventually become friends. They manage to work it all that out which leads Albert to mastering his fear. Later Albert (now King George VI) has to hold the speech to prepare his people for war against germany. There is a nice scene where they introduce Hitler and show how amazing he is with working with his voice and doing great speeches. And there we have Albert who has all these problems with fluid speaking. In that moment he understands the importance of being a confident speaker and knows what to do. This pretty much rounds up the plot.
I certainly don’t regret seeing this film earlier than I intended. It is a very lovely movie with some very lovely characters and situations. All the actors deliver great performances. The film concentrates pretty much on the relationship between Patient and Doctor. How their relationship builds momentum and leads into friendship. In the end both are thankful having each other.
From a technical point of view it’s all solid work. Camera… composition… music… all fine. Of course it’s no VFX movie but the scenes where I thought quite some background VFX were needed looked fine.
Ultimately the movie, I originally thought must be boring, turned out to be very entertaining. It’s certainly no movie for me to watch over and over again. But it’ll stay in memory for sure.