The King’s Speech tells the story of Bertie (Colin Firth), who later became King George VI and ruled the United Kingdom for sixteen years. But it is not the typical story of how a royal family lives, or what the challenges of leading people are. It is a world where diplomacy is exercised through speeches, and the candidate to inherit the throne of his father is stutterer.
Although his brother King Edward VIII (Guy Pearce) is the first to inherit the throne, it does not last long in command, and George VI who succeeded him naturally. For it must feel confident that you can do the hard work, and the unconditional support of his wife, the future Queen Elizabeth (Helena Bonham Carter), it seems not to be enough.
But his life changes when he meets Lionel Logue (Geoffrey Rush), an unconventional speech therapist who insists on addressing the problem from a psychological point of view, and gradually achieves the reserved and stubborn Bertie to open and gain lost self-confidence since childhood. Their relationship will be transformed into a friendship that will help the king throughout the UK.
In 1997 at only 25 years of age, Tom Hooper began directing television series for the Londoner. In 2001, he had his first experience with vintage film directing ‘Love in a Cold Climate’ and then ‘Daniel Deronda’. He took over ‘Elizabeth I’ (2005), miniseries starring Helen Mirren and Jeremy Irons which earned him an Emmy for the best director, and later a contract for the HBO series ‘John Adams’ with Paul Giamatti.
Having also directed Longford (2006) and The Damned United (2009), it demonstrated that Tom Hooper is outlined with his short but significant experience as a contemporary reference in the biographical films.
His work on The King’s Speech seems impeccable work of a veteran. Directing actors, the use of film to handle stress and get under the skin of the characters, and the interpretation of a solid script to have well-deserved Oscar and DGA award for best direction.
Writer series and television movies, and animations ‘Quest for Camelot; and; The King and I’, David Seidler had never written a movie from the likes of The King’s Speech, except for ‘Tucker’.
In this great leap to win an Oscar after more than thirty years of career, Seidler gives us a script that does everything a writer is waiting for i.e. fluidity, tension, good character development, and precise and memorable dialogues. Such is the case of King saying ‘… the nation believes that when I speak, I speak for them. But really I cannot speak’.
The Triumph of King
The performances of Colin Firth and Geoffrey Rush are fantastic players who meet their roles as if they were written for them. The constant feeling of helplessness and insecurity suffered by Bertie, added to the confidence and trust that Lionel develops achieved the backing paper to take Rush does as important as the future king.
Restating the argument is that this is not the story of King George VI, but the relationship that developed the king and his therapist. It is about the friendship between two men, beyond the titles. Many knew George VI, but few who managed behind the scenes that Bertie becomes the important figure as he was. And that’s the key to this duo to gradually shed to be facing each other as two single people.
The personalities of Bertie and Lionel are diametrically opposed, yet complementary. When the king is lost, this ordinary character is far from the royalty who have the opportunity to put the cape and crown. Therein lies the triumph of the king. In Lionel Logue, and four Oscars that were not delivered by chance.