Note: I wrote this before I found out Colin Firth and The King’s Speech won the Oscars. Which means, yay for him! The entry is kinda spoilery so avoid it if you have not seen the movie.
I’ve never met a woman that did not like Colin Firth. It’s just trufax. And any woman who does not like Colin Firth, clearly has not seen the BBC version of Pride and Prejudice. Of which I’ve seen, what four times now?
My friend K tells me that Colin Firth has a very talented ability to stalk people – as he does in P&P. He doesn’t get why women like him so much. Honestly, that man can stalk me any day – it’s fine. I love him.
When I heard about The King’s Speech, just as production was starting, I had already wanted to watch it. There’s just something perennially sexy about Colin Firth, and what would be better than Colin Firth as the brooding Mr. Darcy? Well, just about nothing really but I will take him as the stammering Prince Albert who went on to become the reluctant King George VI.
I’m not a big fan of historical novels and movies, unless it has some sort of revisionist take on it e.g Sherlock Holmes, Sherlock but I was willing to put my prejudices aside for this one.
And you know what? I was right (and well, so were the other five people who told me that I ought to watch it and I would love it and my brother who told my parents, this was going to be Lin’s “favouritest movie” ever).
It was so, so good. I sat throughout the movie, enraptured by Colin Firth the story, the tentative relationship with his speech therapist, a failed actor by the name of Lionel Logue.
There were so many little details about the movie that caught to me and perhaps resonated with me. Despite my love for Colin Firth (can you not tell?), I have to be honest, it was Lionel’s story that caught me, the prejudice he went through as an Aussie and his struggle and desire for greatness, despite being labeled a ‘failed actor’.
The script was written very well, if a little oddly at first. The three act structure was created a little strangely and none of the culmination of events that leads to the explosive pinnacle before the denouement. And *spoiler alert*, the subject of interest, the speech itself, naturally will be at the end of the movie.
I thought it was originally a play – the shots and cuts between scenes made if feel like a play. I was pleased to find out that the writer, had originally written it out as a play to emphasize the relationship between Logue and Bertie. Their relationship reminded me of the sea, for some odd reason, with ebbs and flows, peaks and troughs, coming together and coming apart at different points in time.
It was, funny to say, realistic. Real life events rarely make good stories, real life narratives are not interesting enough to make a story (despite the subject in itself being interesting – a narration that follows real life narration tends to be dull). There was none of the over-dramatic falling out, just as in real life, with our very good friends, we have a few terse words with each other, we stop talking for a bit and then we come back together again.
It theoretically would have been so dull, in an era where we are fed with bombastic language and imagery, where if a revolution does not happen in 3 days, we are bored already and we change the channel. A slow buildup of friendship theoretically would have bored the audience to tears.
Despite the lack of shoutiness, the lack of anything particularly exciting i.e. there were no fighting robots, no Bertie standing by the edge of the roof on Buckingham Palace feeling suicidal – really the most tense scene was during his speeches where you pray he does not stammer and I was completely enraptured by Bertie’s struggle. The movie was emotional despite the dialogue not being overtly so. You watch the characters struggle without words, allowing the strength of the actors and the story to shine through. How I wish it was me who wrote the scene where Bertie reaches to hug his daughters and they curtsy before him instead. His expression showed it all, him feeling crushed when it dawned upon him that even to his daughters, he was King first, papa second made me cry.
The script went against a lot of what I was taught and read about writing. Usually, we’re taught what we want to see is the hero going through a journey of constant obstacles. We want to see a hero, a journey of when a hero is thrust with greatness, we see the journey of him stepping up to mark. We root for him as he overcome each obstacle – he is the Hero.
The King’s Speech is nothing of the sort – it was less a journey of the hero stepping up to mark from his own volition, more than he did it out of duty more than anything, and you watch him try very hard to avoid the greatness that heroes usually crave.
And it worked remarkably for the movie. A total must watch for the year. And I think Jan’s right. This is my favouritest movie.
And oh yeah. Colin Firth is still hot.