KING’S SPEACH tells the story of the man who became King George VI, the father of Queen Elizabeth II. After his brother abdicates, George (‘Bertie’) reluctantly assumes the throne. Plagued by a dreaded stutter and considered unfit to be king, Bertie engages the help of an unorthodox speech therapist named Lionel Logue. Through a set of unexpected techniques, and as a result of an unlikely friendship, Bertie is able to find his voice and boldly lead the country through war.
The night I watched the trailer for THE KING’S SPEACH—I told my siblings: “I must, must watch this movie! I’m going to go see it tomorrow.”
My brother’s response was: “Alone? Invite a friend with you.”
I said: “Nah, too much of a hassle to find someone to tag along with me.” I couldn’t think of anyone, off the top of my head, who would be interested in this movie… But, mainly, I like doing things alone. Sometimes I think I enjoy my independence a wee bit too much. But then my brother whined on and on about how pitiful it was of me to go by my lonesome self. So, out of that same pity, my sister tagged along.
For both of us this film became one of THE BEST movies we’ve seen in the longest time. Throughout the film we were 1) laughing our heads off because the script was SO witty, 2) awww-ing out of sympathy, 3) awww-ing because the movie was so sweet at times.
The King’s Speech is a movie about finding faith in oneself—in one’s voice. The main character, George, sometimes stutters to the point of being unable to speak, his words held back by the fears instilled in him during his childhood. He is unable at crucial moments to let his thoughts be heard.
The pressure placed on his shoulders to speak publicly builds and builds until the day he becomes king after the abdication of his brother. The day George realizes that he must speak at his coronation—he breaks down in one of the most heart-wrenching scenes I’ve ever witnessed on screen. Because the director did such a good job in allowing us, the audience, to feel the frustration and personal shame of being unable to speak properly, you really do feel for George. To be stuttering and choking on your words before all of Britain…
King George VI’s greatest challenge, however, is yet to come. Once England declares war against Nazi Germany, all hell breaks loose, especially in George’s life. The pressure becomes almost unbearably heavy when he realizes that he, as king, must give the first war time speech—a speech that will be heard by the nation and the world that deems him unfit to be the King.
In King George’s struggle to find faith in his voice, his speech therapist Lionel Logue always sticks by him. Lorgue plays the role of a conductor, for as a conductor leads an orchestra to play exquisite music, so does Logue conduct the voice of the King to move the heart of England.
This movie encouraged me so much; though I don’t stutter, I am sometimes frustrated by how inarticulate I often am (as expressed in this entry). One can overcome the seemingly impossible, is the movie’s message. I was browsing the net and came across an account of how King’s George VI’s struggle personally inspired others with the same speech disability:
“If the king can do it, then so can I” is a phrase I’ve heard from British stutterers who grew up listening to the king speaking on the radio.
Before I ask THE question (which you’ll find below this video) here’s the real version of the King’s speech before the outbreak of WWII. One must listen to this speech while understanding what incredible lengths he had to go through to speak without stammering.
Dear Readers, have you ever been faced with a rather impossible situation or a frustrating weakness that you (by yourself, or with the help of another) were able to overcome? I think it would be so inspiring to learn of other experiences that capture the essence of that old saying: Where there is a will, there is a way. This experience can be on anything–landing an agent, getting published, winning a race, getting a scholarship, graduating from medical school…etc.,