Movie Review: The King’s Speech (2010)

Worth watching, Anglophile or not __ 9/10
Review by Brian Wright

The King's SpeechLionel Logue: [as George “Berty” is lighting up a cigarette] Please don’t do that.
King George VI: I’m sorry?
Lionel Logue: I believe sucking smoke into your lungs will kill you.
King George VI: My physicians say it relaxes the throat.
Lionel Logue: They’re idiots.
King George VI: They’ve all been knighted.
Lionel Logue: Makes it official then.

King George VI: If I’m King, where’s my power? Can I form a government? Can I levy a tax, declare a war? No! And yet I am the seat of all authority. Why? Because the nation believes that when I speak, I speak for them. But I can’t speak.

I’m not an Anglophile, but the deconversion is relatively recent, as I began to see how the Borg[1] truly works in the West.[2] My enlightenment has been slow, most of us in the States have no idea how pervasively subtle the Borg information, media, and entertainment ‘channels’ are in spreading ‘the English (government) are our friends‘ doctrine. [Just watch some US WW2 propaganda films.]

No matter, movies such as The King’s Speech—as everything else creative— must be judged in human terms. On that basis, and even on the grounds of exposing the soft underbelly of English Royalty, the movie is a magnificent accomplishment, richly deserving of its many awards (incl. Oscars for Best Picture, Best Actor (Firth), Best Director, and Best Screenplay). Colin Firth plays the unfortunate Albert (King George VI) to whom the throne of England falls thanks to his brother David’s (Guy Pearce) decision to marry the screwball—at least that’s how Eve Best devastatingly portrays her—American socialite commoner Wallis Simpson.

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Albert (aka Bertie) ultimately takes over as King following Edward’s abdication, but there’s one major problem: the king to be has been a stutterer all his life, including a recent unsettling incident when he stammers horridly at the close of the 1925 British Empire Exhibition at Wembley Stadium. This condition is quite awkward in the primetime age of radio, as the ambitious dictator of Germany, Adolph Hitler, in the 1930s, has turned audio technology into a mass-mind-control marvel. How can someone considered ‘the chief spokesman for the Commonwealth’ compete with that? Albert/George seeks out the help of numerous doctors who cater to royal medical issues, to no avail.

Through his wife’s (Queen Elizabeth: Helena Bonham Carter) contacts, Albert is persuaded to see speech therapist and frustrated thespian Lionel Logue (Geoffrey Rush). The unconventional and nondegreed practitioner undertakes some astoundingly imaginative cures, bred from his experience in Australia following World War I, when soldiers who had been shell shocked were helped by his caring and sensitive treatment. This is the most delightful phase of the movie, the interaction between the two men, budding from at first a stilted ‘me-Royalty-you-nada’ attitude into a wonderful friendship that will last a lifetime… as, indeed, it did. One also sees how the king-to-be’s issues with his father, George V (Michael Gambon), have interfered with Albert’s psychological health—keeping him a stutterer.

As Albert loosens up his mind, he becomes liberated from the perverse cold lies of monarchism and accepts his warm humanity, and that is precisely what Lionel helps Albert to accomplish. It is a heart warming movie, leading to a crescendo of a public speech to all of England via radio by George VI on the eve of the September 1939 declaration of war with Germany. If you like Beethoven, you’ll love how the steadily building slow movement of the 7th Symphony is interwoven with the dramatic sequence of strong, valiant prose. It’s easy to fall into the martial trap: the forces of right defying the darkness of wrong. And, sure enough, it’s applicable to the real circumstances of the day; unfortunately, part of learning the truth about the roots of modern wars makes me cringe at every patriotic paroxysm, even on ‘our’ side.

So that’s a reservation, a truth reservation, seeing how the Borg war machinery sets up all the sides and stokes the cannon fodder with nationalist drivel. Like fattening the calf for slaughter. I do suppose one day the species will grow in consciousness enough to make the connection and see the end of war… or not. If so, movies like The King’s Speech may lose some luster, e.g. “How could men in those days be so stupid to buy all that false-flag-enemy bullshit?” Still, people are what they are in the context of their times, within the constraints of their environment.

Another benefit of the movie is seeing how the royal family works, the superficialities masquerading as pomp and circumstance, like the treatment of the royal throne referred to in this conversation:

King George VI: [Sees Logue is sitting on the coronation throne] What are you doing? Get up! You can’t sit there! GET UP!
Lionel Logue: Why not? It’s a chair.
King George VI: No, that. It is not a chair. T-that… that is Saint Edward’s chair.
Lionel Logue: People have carved their names on it.
King George VI: [Simultaneously] That… chair… is the seat on which every king and queen has… That is the Stone of Scone you ah-are trivializing everything. You trivialize…
Lionel Logue: [Simultaneously] It’s held in place by a large rock. I don’t care about how many royal arseholes have sat in this chair.

Finally, I better appreciate how divorced from reality the Duke of Windsor was, as well as his wife dilettante. By comparison, the Australian, Logue—the English upper echelons tend to look down on Australians as unrefined boobs—is a breath of fresh air. Rush (nominated for four ‘best actor’ Academy Awards, won the Oscar for Shine, 1997) plays his part with intelligence and gusto; he certainly deserves his best supporting actor nomination as well (which award went to Christian Bale in The Fighter).

So yes, Speech is definitely a fine pick[3], rousing and perceptive.

[1] My new favorite shorthand for “the modern <central controlling entity>,” sometimes referred to as the Anglo-American financial oligarchy (and its coercive, mind-control instruments).

[2] The mind-control shattering book for me, strangely enough, was on economics, G. Edward Griffin’s The Creature from Jekyll Island: A second look at the Federal Reserve. After that, I fully understand the role of the Borg in fostering and profiting immensely from human armed conflict.

[3] For some reason the only DVD link to the movie on Amazon is to Blu-Ray

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