Monthly Archives: June 2011

THE KING’S SPEECH (2010)

Why are you here then – Because I bloody well stammer!

The must-see-movie of this year and I have finally managed to view it. And it sure did live up to all the expectations. The whole movie just reeks of quality – from the beginning to the end. No wonder it won 4 Oscars including screenplay, leading actor and directing.

          What’s he saying? – I don’t know but… he seems to be saying it rather well

The King’s Speech tells a story of King George VI (Colin Firth), who reluctantly becomes the King of England after his brother King Edward VIII (Guy Pearce) abdicates due to a scandalous marriage to American divorcée Wallis Simpson. King George VI or Bertie – to his friends – has been suffering from stammer all his life. At that day and age stammer was regarded as a weakness – a king with a stammer was considered to be an unfit leader for a nation. After trying every kind of treatment Bertie’s wife Elizabeth (Helena Bonham Carter) finds an eccentric speech therapist, Lionel Logue (Geoffrey Rush). Suspicious Bertie meets with Logue and after a couple of turbulent meetings starts Logue’s unorthodox treatment course. During that course of treatment Bertie and Logue develop a strong bond that becomes a lifelong friendship. England is facing war and its people are desperate for a strong leader. Thankfully Logue’s treatments are working and the whole country gathers around their radios to witness the King’s speech, which will unite them in battle and inspire them through the inevitable war.

Kinging can take a lot of time…

This film has such an impressive cast. Colin Firth is marvellous as the troubled King George VI. He sounds like his has been stammering all his life. Mr. Darcy is all grown up! Funnily enough Jennifer Ehle, who plays Mrs. Logue, was Elizabeth Bennett to Colin Firth’s Mr. Darcy in Pride and Prejudice (1995). Mini-series with that famous lake scene of wet Colin Firth…

                                 Is the nation ready for two minutes of radio silence?

Geoffrey Rush and Helena Bonham Carter give equally impressive performances. Costumes are spot on – like everything in this movie.

Ham; not palm

David Seidler, who wrote the screenplay, wrote a letter to Queen Mother a several years ago asking for permission to make a movie out of King George VI’s story. Queen Mother asked him not to do so during her lifetime, as the memories were too painful for her. Seidler respected her wish and the movie was made after Queen Mother passed away. David Seidler also got very lucky as private journals of Lionel Logue were found a short time before the movie started filming, thus they could be incorporated into the script and give valuable insight into the private relationship between Bertie and Logue.

                                 Do you know any jokes?

At the end of the day this is a bromance story. As Colin Firth recaps the movie: Boy meets therapist – boy looses therapist – boy gets therapist.

If you have somehow missed The King’s Speech you must watch it and enjoy moviemaking at it’s best.

Waiting for me to… commence a conversation, one can wait rather a long wait.

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No. 12 THE SEARCHERS (1956)

Texican is nothing but a human man way out on a limb.

It is time to get back to the mission and who better to lead the way than the ultimate man’s man – John Wayne – in a movie that has been quoted as one of the most influential movies ever made. The Searchers is number twelve on the AFI’s list of the 100 best movies and it sure has earned its place there.

                                                         Lone Star

It tells the story of Ethan Edwards (John Wayne), who returns home from the Civil War to his brother’s ranch in Texas. There he hopes to find peace close to the woman – his brother’s wife – whom he is in love with. But peace is not in the cards for poor Ethan. While he is out riding with his 1/8 Native American nephew Martin, a Comanche raid kills most of his brother’s family. Only little Debbie “survives” and is kidnapped by the evil Chief Scar. From here begins a five-year mission for Ethan and Martin to find Debbie and bring her back or as Ethan puts it – most likely to kill her, if she has been “brainwashed” by the Indians.

                                                             Do you know what Ethan will do if he has a chance? He’ll put a bullet in her brain.

Some of the dialogue and subject matter makes you gasp for the same reasons as Mad Men. One of the movie’s best lines comes from Martin Pawley (Jeffrey Hunter) when he and Uncle Ethan find Martin’s accidental Indian wife killed by the US soldiers: “What did them soldiers have to go and kill her for. She never done nobody any harm”. I suppose that was the time when you shot first and then asked questions. At the time most of the moviegoers missed that it’s hinted throughout the movie that Uncle Ethan might have had an affair with his brother’s wife. And who knew who really was Debbie’s (Natalie Wood) father.

 No words needed

An additional explanation for Ethan’s fury towards the Comanche is explained in the scene where he finds Debbie’s doll next to his own mother’s tombstone. On the tombstone it reads that Ethan’s own mother was killed by the Comanche.

The Searchers is an impressive Western. It was filmed in Monument Valley, Utah. As that time there were no roads there, the film crew built roads. They also built a whole town for the 250 odd crew and cast. As the closest town was 175 miles away, everything had to be brought in – water, electricity etc. What a hassle that must have been even before they got into filming, but the director, John Ford, was adamant to film at the home of the Navajo.

                                                      That’ll be the day

This movie is a cinematic portrayal of the hard life of the settlers. The screenplay is moving and the story is told with drops of humour mixed in with the dramatic story line. Acting is good all around. John Wayne is perfect as Uncle Ethan who is tortured by his own experiences, but who at the end reconnects with his humanity. The Monument Valley offers a spellbinding backdrop. I can see myself riding there in the Olden Days. Even though I don’t think my life would have been long at all – if it had not been childbirth that would have killed me, it would have probably been a suicide. Just look at the gravestones at an old graveyard in Tombstone, AZ – most of the women there were killed by either one of those.

The Searchers is a movie that does make you think about the fairness and unfairness of the treatment of Native Americans. It is well worth of watching. Even though Rio Bravo still remains as my favourite Western of all time.


Some day this country is gonna be a swell place to live in ~ Well said, my man!