The King’s Speech is a biographical drama set in the 1920’s-1930’s. It stars Colin Firth as Prince Albert, who suffers from a significant speech impediment. His wife Elizabeth, played by Helena Bonham Carter, enlists the help of Lionel Logue, a speech therapist played by Geoffrey Rush. The film chronicles the sessions between Albert and Lionel, and Albert's eventual ascension to King of the United Kingdom. The King’s Speech also features Guy Pearce, Michael Gambon, and Timothy Spall in supporting roles.
The movie is primarily a drama focusing on the real events occurring prior to World War 2. Despite the dramatic angle, the film manages to add a slight dose of humour throughout, keeping the movie from feeling too dreary or dull. All three of the starring roles contribute to this, from Colin Firth’s dry wit, to Geoffrey Rush’s confident jests, and Helena Bonham Carter’s charming humour. The comedy in the film isn’t over-pronounced, but adds just enough to keep the film exciting and fresh.
In addition, all three starring roles portray their characters wonderfully. Colin Firth in particular does an excellent job at depicting Prince Albert as shockingly timid man, who experiences a lack of self-confidence due to his debilitating stammer. While many people experience stammers or stutters primarily during public speaking, Albert experiences his in everyday life. His interactions with his daughters are not exempt from his speech impediment, and Firth does an excellent job at conveying his disappointment and sadness.
It is interesting how in an era of films that climax with a heavy action sequence or intensely dramatic event, The King’s Speech builds up to….well, a speech, but still manages to be climactic. The film manages to build up the anticipation and firmly delivers an emotional climax. It does a great job of telling the story and making the audience realize the severity of the situation. The world is on the brink of World War Two, and the citizens of England need a voice to help calm their fears and inspire them. They need a strong voice that can unite them together and represent the confidence the country has in their efforts. Albert manages to give that to them with the help of Lionel, who inspires him along the way.
The King’s Speech manages to deliver as a solid film. It is a biographical drama, which can sometimes not translate well to the big screen; however, the movie manages to deliver a dramatic experience that stays interesting throughout the film.