BSA204: The King’s Speech Review

The King’s Speech is the story of King George VI’s struggle with a speech impediment and Lionel Logue, a speech therapist, who treated the King before and during his reign.

I found this film inspiring and also grounding. Seeing someone born into a privileged and powerful position struggle with something most of the world take for granted reminded me that everyone is human, we all have struggles in simple things that others take for granted and no one is exempt. I find this story inspiring because it is a true story of overcoming and learning to believe in yourself.

King George VI (or Bertie as he is most commonly referred to as in the film) is the main character of The King’s Speech and I think he is a very inspiring character and historical figure. I really enjoyed this character because I think I was inspired by him from the beginning where his weakness, his speech impediment, was displayed. I found this moment inspiring because, even though his struggle of making a speech to thousands of people, as well as having it broadcast live, was a painful experience, he pressed forward and did the best he could even though it was clear he really just wanted to curl up and die.

My favourite character on the other hand was Lionel Logue, Bertie’s speech therapist. Again, the first moment the character was introduced influenced my decision on this. Logue’s introduction is incredibly informal which is of stark contrast to the characters introduced prior to him. He yells from the toilet to a potential client that he will be out soon, even mentioning that he is “in the loo”. I really appreciated the humour he brought to the film the moment he entered it and the everyday human personality the moment promised.

There are many engaging moments in this film, but for me the most notable is the opening scene. Bertie, this powerful, important and respected figure, endures the humiliating experience of stuttering incoherently through a speech in front of thousands (and broadcast live to thousands more) while they watch on with the face of a disapproving father. I found this particularly engaging because it made me invest emotionally in the character as I experienced his humiliation and made me root for him to succeed.

When I first watched this film I about 16 and I remember beginning to lose interest when Bertie and Lionel have a slight falling out. I think I just got bored at that age, but now when I watch this film (it is now one of my favourites) I don’t lose interest and I think that’s probably just because as I’ve matured so have my tastes in films (they don’t have to be full of action to be interesting) and I now understand the story more.

Personally, I don’t think this film has weaknesses, it is an excellent film and so is one of my favourites. This film was wonderfully directed and the acting was superb. I heard in an interview with Colin Firth, who plays King George VI, that he gave himself a bit of a stutter for a few months after filming because of his dedication to his character.
I also think a strength of this film is it’s great use of symbolism in the backgrounds for the characters in Logue’s office and also the way that it could be considered that the microphone is the antagonist (I wrote an essay on this, Patrick, if you want to read it).


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