Bertie is the second son of reigning King George V. He knows he is not going to be crowned King as that falls to his elder brother Edward but soon Bertie realises that all might change when his brother falls in love with an American woman who has already been divorced twice. Bertie feels he is not able to make a good King as he has a speech problem. He has suffered from this since the age of 5 and despite seeing many doctors he has not been able to over come it.
After the death of his Father his brother become King and Bertie feels even more pressure as his brother is not a suitable King due to his lifestyle. Bertie’s wife Elizabeth is trying to help Bertie and his speech problem when she discovers a new Doctor who has a very good success rate at curing speech problems but his methods are a little strange. Bertie reluctantly agrees to visit Lionel and he soon starts to help Bertie talk in the correct way and without a stammer.
What faces Bertie when his brother threatens to not be crowned as he is not believing in his own ability and will he ever be able to loose the stammer and talk with authority?
I am not a cinema person so have been waiting for a good few months now for this film to be released on DVD so I was so pleased when I got it yesterday. I had been looking forward to seeing the film and thought it looked interesting, the fact it has won so many awards was another bonus and I was just hoping it was not another over hyped film. Fortunately it was not and both me and hubby loved this film right from the start to the very end despite it being a true story and the fact we already knew what the outcome was going to be. I did find it hard to write a brief plot summery to the film as I was unsure on how much of the plot to give away but I think it is a fairly well know story in our Royal history so I think I have given just the right balance. There is a lot more to the film which I have left to be discovered when you give it a watch.
Collin Firth played the lead role of Bertie and for me I felt he was excellent. I thought he did an amazing job playing the role with the stammer and speech problems and felt he must have worked so hard to perfect this style of talking. He came across in many different ways, at times I felt he was weak and needed to be told to toughen up but at other times he showed courage and strength and I felt there was a good balance between these personas. He was a loving man and this was apparent when he was talking to his children but with the rest of his family he was the opposite and became a quiet bullied little man. I did fall in love with his character and felt proud when he did finally start to make progress with his speech. Despite being of Royal blood and very posh spoken I felt he bought a lot of humour to the role. This was apparent when he was working with Lionel and I loved how he made Bertie more normal and down to Erath. I felt there was a lovely genuine connection between him and Lionel, played by Geoffrey Rush and they were great when on screen together.
Geoffrey Rush was another very strong actor in the film. I loved how he spoke to Bertie and never dealt with him any differently despite being a Prince. He seemed genuine and strong and he was a joy to watch. He also bought a few good laughs to the storyline. Other good stand out roles came from Helena Bonham Carter, she played wife Elizabeth. I felt she was a good choice and took well to the role. She did at times come across in a very good way with how she wanted to help her husband but I felt there were a few times when she seemed to try to bully him. She and Bertie showed great love for each other and they were easy to watch and they had a genuine affection for each other. I did also enjoy the role of Edward which Guy Pearce played. He was the odd one of the family, in that he was loud and wanted to have a fun life and he did not seem keen on the royal duties. We also had some very good support actors which bought some depth to the story. I did not find a single weak actor in this film and thought it was all of a very high standard.
The setting for the film was the 1930 and the country was on the brink of war. I loved this setting as we got to see some lovely clothes and I loved the slower paced life of the city and the old fashioned vehicles and technology. I am glad that this film was set as the original true story was as I don’t think it would have had the same appeal or strength if it had been bought into the present day. I felt the setting made it easier to watch. The Royal aspect of the film was also a joy to watch as we got some splendid scenery from the Palace and the regal clothing looked amazing.
The soundtrack to the film was lovely and really did fit in very well. It was all very classical and orchestral and I am so glad it stayed this way throughout the film. For some reason I felt it made the film more royal and interesting. I will say the musical director deserves a lot of credit for the whole soundtrack to this film. It helped with the tension and emotions and also the drama of the parts in which it was used. I would not personally buy this soundtrack but hubby would but for me it was well suited to the story.
There were no special effects in the film and none were needed, there is no action or fighting and some may find this puts them off from watching. I have to say that my Mom found this film very boring and did not enjoy it at all, she says it was very slow and nothing really happened. I will warn people that they too may find it slightly slow but for me it was an excellent pace as we really got to see the work Bertie had to do an if it would have been shortened I think it would have lost a lot of the depth and impact of his problems.
I do have the DVD which has a lot of bonus features on it. As I have not watched these (according to hubby we will be) I am not able to make comment on them so this is going to be a film only review. The running time of the film is 113 minutes and for me this was a good length with the story moving at a good steady pace from start to finish. The rate for the film is a 12 as there is a lot of swearing but comes out when Bertie is having speech therapy but I think children aged over 10 would enjoy this film and personally I would encourage them to watch it so they get to know of the countries history. The DVD can be bought for £9.97 and I do think this is a very fair price.
There really is only one rate which I can give this film and that has to be the full 5 stars. I thoroughly enjoyed this film from start to end and I found the acting to be excellent from all involved. I think it definitely deserves all of the awards it has and I recommend his film to all. Go buy it, watch it and then make the kids watch to learn some history!