The other evening, my friend and I went to the cinema. We go quite regularly and, usually, there are about 20 other people in the cinema, and we always get our same seats, right in the back row, in the middle, so that we can make ourselves comfortable and stretch our legs out.
Anyway, there we were bowling along with our popcorn and drink, into the screen that was showing our film. Imagine our surprise when we saw that virtually every single seat was taken! It was obviously a very popular film choice. Mind you, the reviews for it have been fantastic.
What was the film, you may well ask. Well, it is called The King's Speech, starring Colin Firth and Helena Bonham-Carter. I think that Colin Firth is a fantastic actor anyway, and I have loved him ever since he emerged from the lake in Jane Austen's Pride & Prejudice.
Mmmm! I could dwell on that for a while, but, meanwhile, back to the film I have just seen. After the death of his father, King George V, and the scandalous abdication of King Edward VIII, the second son, Bertie (Colin Firth) is suddenly crowned King George VI of England. It is a role that he is ill-equipped for, having suffered from a debilitating speech impediment all his life.
With his country on the brink of war and in desperate need of a leader, his wife, Elizabeth (the future Queen Mother) played by Helena Bonham-Carter, arranges for her husband to see an eccentric speech therapist, Lionel Logue.
|The King with his wife and Speech Therapist, nervously waiting to address the nation|
After a rough start, the two embark on an unorthodox form of treatment, and end up being friends for life. With the support of Logue, his family, the Government and Winston Churchill, the King overcomes his stammer and delivers a stirring radio address (and this is where the title of the film comes from) which inspires his people and unites them in battle.
This film has been many years in the making, as the Queen Mother never wanted the story told until after her death. It really is an inspiring film, incredibly well acted, and, in the final scenes, when Colin Firth is delivering his speech as King George VI, every single person in that cinema was willing him on. It was so quiet when the film finished, and I almost expected everyone to start wildly cheering!
The film is proving to be an enormous box office success, which goes to show that the world of the 1930's still has an enormous fascination for viewers of all ages. I honestly think that part of its appeal is that it takes us back to a vanished age, where manners and decency ruled. So very different from the world we live in now. The film captures that age absolutely brilliantly, from the sets to the costumes, and I really mustn't forget to mention the music either. You'll know what I mean if you go to see the film.
Perhaps people have a hankering to get back some of that decency and respect. Why else would eleven million viewers watch the marvellous costume drama, Downton Abbey, and almost the same number watch a re-make of Upstairs Downstairs over the Christmas period.
Sumptious is a word I would use to describe this film. I could watch it again and again, and would thoroughly recommend it.