Here's the story of King George VI, initially the Duke of York, his speech problems, his improbable therapist, his rise to reign, and their overcoming.
It's a true story, and a simple tale, but they make the most of it. Colin Firth takes on the role of King - with a commendable stutter, and Geoffrey Rush the one and only Lionel Logue, who starts out a mere mortal but ends up closer to the throne than most. There's also Helena Bonham Carter, the Queen, and they paint a picture of the monarchy as I wish it was: passionate, compassionate, and with great responsibility.
They're a charming cast - mostly the king and his therapist, and the story itself was way more emotional than I'd expected. It starts off a bit slow, at a packed stadium, with a speech that George just cannot call forth no matter how much he wants to. There's no rush during those moments of awkward speechlessness, and both frustration and pity are clear as air, so after all the trials and tribulations with the odd, unconventional, inconvenient and sometimes totally preposterous practice methods Lionel devices, there's no greater victory than the slow, but unwavering speech the King delivers at the very end, when Great Britain has just declared war on Hitler and the world stands on the brink of war.
The entire movie prepares for that one speech, and I guess I should have prepared too, because it was a teary moment. The acting's impeccable, as are the sceneries and script. It feels authentic. It feels difficult. I started fearing I'd develop a stutter too. Wonder how easy it was for Colin to move out of the role, and speak normally? How did he do it? Did he share the fear?
There's no action, but there is tension, and drama. There's no romance, but there is affection. There's some comedy. There's character. There are nuances. I feel like seeing this I'm discovering what qualities don't exist in the ferocious; fast-paced flicks I usually do like to watch, and how they can make even a story as devoid of physical drama as this so worth watching. All the fine-tuned components that make up a good movie.
The king's speech: you really ought to hear it! It was pretty inspiring.
rated 4/5: fo shizzle