First things first, let's just get this out of the way. This movie should NOT be rated R. Period. There's no violence, no sex, only two scenes with relatively small amounts of strong language, and some scenes of smoking (though the main character stops early in the film as a result of his therapist's urgings). I mean, I do kind of understand why the f-bombs would scare the MPAA into stamping an R rating on it, but don't let it scare you. In fact, the main reason why I'm angry at the MPAA's R rating is the fact that it prevents most teenagers from seeing it, which is sad, because I see no reason why they shouldn't see it. If it were up to me, I would give the film a PG-13 rating, fair and square. But enough about that. Let's move on to the movie itself, rather than it's rating. The film centers on the prince of King George V, George VI, who has suffered from a speech impediment all his life. Day after day, he struggles through speeches and fumbles through bedtime stories with his two daughters, all while being surrounded by idiot doctors whose lurid treatments only make him more mad. However, when he visits an eccentric speech therapist named Lionel Logue, everything changes. At first, Lionel's methods seem to be no more effective than anyone else's, leading to George leaving him. But over time (and during one unforgettable scene of him listening to a recording of himself reciting Hamlet's famous "To Be Or Not To Be" speech perfectly while having classical music blasted in his ears), he goes to visit Lionel again, and this time, he's there to stay. And so over the course of many years, trials, excersises (including some with his ever-viligant wife, who Lionel always treats with great respect), failed speeches, and angry breakups, George founds a real friendship with Lionel, a friendship that would last a lifetime. However, when his father, King George V, dies, and George VI's brother, Edward VIII, is deemed unfit to be king, George VI suddenly finds himself next on the throne. With only time to spare before he has to make his speech that will make him king, George frantically trains with Lionel to make sure that his speech is perfect. And what a perfect speech it is, inspiring people all over the world in the midst of Hitler's realm and the beginning of WWII. The main reason the movie is so good is because although it is rather predictable (nobody reading this will probably be surprised by the ending), there are wonderful performances from all, including Guy Pearce (Edward VIII), Helena Bonham Carter (George's wife), Geoffery Rush as Lionel, and Colin Firth as King George VI. And although the movie may seem dull and boring at first (conquer up the image of two British people having a two-hour speech therapy session together and you'll see what I mean), the movie moves along at a brisk pace, never confusing or hoodwinking you. In fact, for days I couldn't bring myself to see the movie because my dad had told me it was so boring, but due to the fact that I had to return it to the library, I put it on anyway, and boy was I glad I did. As well as providing teens a necessary history lesson (the whole story really is true, as is the rise of Hitler and WWII), it also provides them worty role models (George never gives up on overcoming his impediment and Berite is kind and supportive) and messages as well (to never give up, to always believe in yourself, and to be true to yourself as well). That's another reason I'm really sad that the MPAA had to rate this wondeful and inspirational film R. All in all, if you want to see a really good historical drama with great role models and messages (and don't mind a little cursing), then The King's Speech is for you.
The King's Speech
October 26, 2017