Film Review: The King’s Speech (A incredible true story)

KING’S SPEACH tells the story of the man who became King George VI, the father of Queen Elizabeth II. After his brother abdicates, George (‘Bertie’) reluctantly assumes the throne. Plagued by a dreaded stutter and considered unfit to be king, Bertie engages the help of an unorthodox speech therapist named Lionel Logue. Through a set of unexpected techniques, and as a result of an unlikely friendship, Bertie is able to find his voice and boldly lead the country through war.

The night I watched the trailer for THE KING’S SPEACH—I told my siblings: “I must, must watch this movie! I’m going to go see it tomorrow.”

My brother’s response was: “Alone? Invite a friend with you.”

I said: “Nah, too much of a hassle to find someone to tag along with me.” I couldn’t think of anyone, off the top of my head, who would be interested in this movie… But, mainly, I like doing things alone. Sometimes I think I enjoy my independence a wee bit too much. But then my brother whined on and on about how pitiful it was of me to go by my lonesome self. So, out of that same pity, my sister tagged along.

For both of us this film became one of THE BEST movies we’ve seen in the longest time. Throughout the film we were 1) laughing our heads off because the script was SO witty, 2) awww-ing out of sympathy, 3) awww-ing because the movie was so sweet at times.

The King’s Speech is a movie about finding faith in oneself—in one’s voice. The main character, George, sometimes stutters to the point of being unable to speak, his words held back by the fears instilled in him during his childhood. He is unable at crucial moments to let his thoughts be heard.

The pressure placed on his shoulders to speak publicly builds and builds until the day he becomes king after the abdication of his brother. The day George realizes that he must speak at his coronation—he breaks down in one of the most heart-wrenching scenes I’ve ever witnessed on screen. Because the director did such a good job in allowing us, the audience, to feel the frustration and personal shame of being unable to speak properly, you really do feel for George. To be stuttering and choking on your words before all of Britain…

King George VI’s greatest challenge, however, is yet to come. Once England declares war against Nazi Germany, all hell breaks loose, especially in George’s life. The pressure becomes almost unbearably heavy when he realizes that he, as king, must give the first war time speech—a speech that will be heard by the nation and the world that deems him unfit to be the King. 

In King George’s struggle to find faith in his voice, his speech therapist Lionel Logue always sticks by him. Lorgue plays the role of a conductor, for as a conductor leads an orchestra to play exquisite music, so does Logue conduct the voice of the King to move the heart of England.

This movie encouraged me so much; though I don’t stutter, I am sometimes frustrated by how inarticulate I often am (as expressed in this entry). One can overcome the seemingly impossible, is the movie’s message. I was browsing the net and came across an account of how King’s George VI’s struggle personally inspired others with the same speech disability:

“If the king can do it, then so can I” is a phrase I’ve heard from British stutterers who grew up listening to the king speaking on the radio.

Before I ask THE question (which  you’ll find below this video) here’s the real version of the King’s speech before the outbreak of WWII. One must listen to this speech while understanding what incredible lengths he had to go through to speak without stammering.

Dear Readers, have you ever been faced with a rather impossible situation or a frustrating weakness that you (by yourself, or with the help of another) were able to overcome? I think it would be so inspiring to learn of other experiences that capture the essence of that old saying: Where there is a will, there is a way. This experience can be on anything–landing an agent, getting published, winning a race, getting a scholarship, graduating from medical school…etc.,

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17 Comments

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17 responses to “Film Review: The King’s Speech (A incredible true story)

  1. This makes me want to see the movie! Great review.

    Yes, I have my personal issues that I struggle with. But despite all of this, somehow I managed to pull off getting a Top 10 Blog! Seriously, it was a struggle to get there and took a lot of work, and compared to some of my other contestants, I did not have the amount of resources or help as they did. But I pulled it off. I’m just one of many great blogs about writers who write about their writing, including yours, and I hope I do my best to represent those kind of blogs that are not as flashy and popular as others but that do their best to create great content.

    I know what movie I want to see this holiday weekend. 🙂

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    • Oh I think you’d love this movie!

      The effort you put behing getting into the top 10 blogs WAS truly remarkable. I remember seeing congrats being tweeted to you. Here’s my belated congratulations! You truly deserve to be in the top blogs listed. You always write entries that are so inspiring and encouraging.

      Thanks for sharing 🙂

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  2. I have only seen trailers for this movie. I am not a movie buff but as you say this movie is a good one! Thanks for the post.

    Merry Christmas.

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  3. I want to see this movie! But it’s not playing near me 😦 The university I work for tends to bring movies like this in second-run, so maybe then 🙂

    I’ve always admired King George–how he wasn’t even in line for the throne til his brother abdicated and he stepped up into the hornet’s nest of WWII. Thanks for posting this review!

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    • I actually first learned of him and his disability through this movie. Which is interesting. As I didn’t know much about him previously when I was watching this movie based on the love affair between George’s brother and the mistress.

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  4. I absolutely must see this movie now. June, every day is often a struggle for me to make my own voice be heard. Written words are my forte, but speaking up for myself by way of my speaking voice…that is a challenge. As a dear friend said to me, “everyone is scared of having their voice be heard, especially if it is as powerful as yours.’

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    • Thanks for sharing your struggle. And it really is strange–how some of us fear the strength in us being noticed. I think you should definately watch this movie. Ever since I watched it, I feel as if I’m trying harder to overcome the difficulty I have with being articulate. Practice makes perfect!

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  5. Cannot WAIT to see this. I kept seeing ads for it while I was in London, but couldn’t find a good preview/review anywhere. Thanks!

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  6. Wonderful review! I was finally able to see this movie last Thursday and then posted my own review. It just blew me away – such an inspiring story! Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

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  7. This is one movie I’ve been waiting to watch ever since I read that it was in the making… so I skipped your review. (When I want to watch a movie, I never read reviews, so I can have an unsullied view of it for myself :)). In addition to this movie having such a captivating premise, Collin Firth (who played Darcy in A&E’s beautiful rendition of Pride and Prejudice) adds to the attraction for me ;-).

    Happy New Year, June!

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    • Oh wow you’ve been waiting a LONG time for this one! Do share your thoughts with me on this film once you do watch it!

      I’ve always thought of Firth as Mr Darcy. But now, after watching this movie, Collin Firth changed in my mind from Darcy to King George

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  8. Cities of the Mind

    I’ve been debating watching this movie, and your article just completely sold me on it.

    As to your question, that’s harder than it first seems. I can think of very few things that anyone does in a given day which would not be impossible for us without a wealth of effort and experience. Even those of us who have not suffered from a stutter spent years learning the intricacies of interpersonal communication. It takes years also to become a great runner, or a really good driver.

    I would have to say that the human condition is nothing but a struggle to define and redefine the boundaries of what is possible.

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  9. Pingback: What is Impossible, Anyway? « Cities of the Mind

  10. yes, all the time! Just Saturday at a book signing a stranger said, “Do you know so-and-so?” oh and I loved that comic strip!

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