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The King’s Speech – Very good but lacking a certain something (Beware of spoilers here!)

I was curious to see this movie not just because of all the hype, critical acclaim and Oscar nominations it has received, also because Colin Firth is in it. I really enjoyed his performance in the Bridget Jones Diary movies. Anyway, the film begins with Prince Albert the Duke of York, played by Firth, attempting to make a speech on behalf of his father, King George V. He stutters and stammers and ultimately gives up, to the utter dismay of the crowd as well as his wife Elizabeth, played by the stunning Helena Bonham Carter. So she takes him to a speech therapist called Lionel Logue (Geoffrey Rush). The whole movie is about how the therapist cures the duke and would-be king of his speech impediment.

The movie is filled to the brim with witty dialogue and comedic scenes. I also really liked the direction and photography; there is a crisp, cool blue tinge that is present in almost every shot. But somehow overall, it felt like something was missing in the movie. My wife agrees with me on this. The movie is quite funny but it seems to lack a bit of substance. The transition from a horribly stammering duke to a perfectly enunciating king is too quickly shown, without completely revealing all the techniques that may have gone into the therapist’s lessons. Logue tries out certain established techniques on ‘Bertie’ (both go on first name basis during the therapy sessions which provides much material for laughter) but the duke is still visibly struggling with the lessons. And then all of a sudden it is time for the important final speech in the movie and the duke (now King George VI) does splendidly well, in the presence of Logue helping him with motivational sign language right in front of him in the same chamber! I don’t know… I just don’t buy this rapid improvement that happened perfectly in time for the final credits! It is almost as if the director and crew said “Ohh it’s almost 2 hours! We have to wrap this thing up!”

So in closing, I quite enjoyed it but yet see it as a slightly overrated movie with twelve Oscar nominations and several other awards.