The film, The King’s Speech (Hooper) is a story filled with intricate anti-stereotypic images and paradigm shifts within a larger plot of the British royal family. It is set in the period when Britain went to war with Germany. Albert, the Duke of York, who will later inherit the throne as King George VI, has a speech defect. He stammers and has fruitlessly visited every known professional speech therapist.
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To make matters worse, his rise to the throne demands that he makes public speeches which will be broadcast all over the British Empire and its many colonies. Albert’s wife, Elizabeth, visits a quite unorthodox speech therapist in an attempt to help her husband. Lionel Logue is a failed actor who is also an expert in speech therapy using various psychoanalysis methods.
The film revolves around the professional relationship between Logue and his patient, Albert. The professionalism, however, is short-lived as a close friendship develops between the two men. Unlike Albert’s previous doctors and therapists, Logue’s methods are quite unorthodox. He doesn’t regard Albert’s speech impediment as a medical problem that can be solved by legalistic procedures and breath exercises.
Instead, he views the problem as being much deeper than a mechanical speech impediment. In the patient-therapist interactions, Albert is forced to open up about his life, his childhood and his fears. At first, Logue’s methods seem quite irrelevant to the problem at hand. However, in overcoming his internal fears, Albert is slowly able to overcome some of his speech impediments, albeit with a lot of effort.
The movie presents many counter-stereotypical images in this relationship between a failed actor from Australia and the King of England. Albert inherits the throne after his elder brother, Edward, who gives it up so that he can marry the woman he loves. It is ironical how Lionel Logue seems to have all the tricks to help the King overcome his fears and present a flawless speech. On the other hand, Logue’s many failed attempts in acting auditions seem paradoxical to his theatrical approaches in his healing methods.
Logue, a common man who is expected to be fearful, submissive and non-opinionated before his majesty, displays the exact opposite of these attributes. On the other hand, Albert, who is a king and is supposed to exude confidence, charisma and a sense of authority, is the one who comes out as timid, fearful, with low self-esteem and an inability to explore his own individuality.
Such counter-stereotypical images and scene characterize the whole plot of the movie. These features thus make the movie a timeless creation for presenting social issues. Although set in a particular political period, the historical context is not as important as the social values lessons being expressed.
In conclusion, The King’s Speech is an excellent movie that goes against the common trends of most movies. Instead of being the typical game-changing film, it is more of a game-keeping movie. This is because it brings to light issues that people deal and struggle with, but never really get to air. The film is excellently produced and cleverly delivered to drive its various points home.
Hooper, Tom. The King’s Speech. London: The Weinstein Company, 2010. Film