Colin Firth as the King
Official Movie poster
Official Movie poster

by Kyla Camille, GoGaGaH.com |

SUMMARY

The King’s Speech is a film based on the true story of “Bertie” who was then troubling because of his fear of being crowned King George VI due to his involuntary act of stammering a lot whenever he speaks. Bertie and his ever-supportive wife, Elizabeth, consulted experts on speech defects but could not find a cure for Bertie until Elizabeth found Lionel Logue who was an eccentric speech therapist.

On the first day of meeting, Lionel started asking Bertie questions which were a bit personal for Bertie that he did not want to answer. But as Lionel explained that he had to know the background of his patients and that he has own rules, Bertie, in an angry tone, answered some of his questions. Bertie, after being told to read a part of a book while he had loud music plugged to his ears and a recorder ongoing, got frustrated and immediately stepped out of the first session.

King George V, Bertie’s father, constantly asked him to read notes to the public for him to at least improve his skill in speaking but did not do him any good at all. With so much dissatisfaction, he took out the recording that Lionel had given him earlier and listened to it. To his surprise, he was hearing himself speak fluently without stammering even once. Without further ado, Bertie and his wife came back to Lionel’s place, requesting for a compromise.

Lionel and Bertie started the speech therapy not just through mouth exercises, but also did physical exercises such as rolling on the floor, jumping, and the like to relax his muscles. Lionel remained patient throughout the sessions and used Bertie’s comfort zones such as swearing, and unnecessary movements as other outlets of his speech. He was not the best and fastest learner, but he had progress. He was starting to deliver his short talks more fluently than he did before and that made him feel better and closer to Lionel.

The day came when King George V passed away and the crown will automatically be handed down to the first born son which happened to be the older brother of Bertie, King Edward VIII. But after the abdication of his brother due to his determined marriage to a divorced lady which was not allowed by law, Bertie was then chosen to be the ruler next to their deceased father which meant he had to do all the things his father did including the radio speech and to add to his fears, their nation was declared to be under the state of war.

Lionel was always by his side even after Bertie had said hurtful words to him. Lionel was there to guide him in his radio speech, in his coronation, and stayed as his truest friend from Bertie being Bertie to Bertie becoming King George VI.

CHARACTERS

Main Characters

King George VI

He is the main character in the film. He is the second son of King George V and Queen Mary of Teck.  He has a speech defect that causes him to stammer when he speaks. His quick temper leads to shouting defensively. He smokes a lot because to his defense, it is a way of coping with his problem in verbal communication.

Queen Elizabeth

She is the wife of King George VI. She is very patient and loving to her husband and daughters. She was the person who best understood King George VI and who found Lionel to ask help from for the improvement of speech of King George VI.

King Edward VIII

He is the eldest son of King George V and Queen Mary of Teck. He was supposed to be the next king but he chose to marry a divorced woman than to be crowned as the next ruler.

Lionel Logue

He is the speech therapist of King George VI who did not consider his attitude as an obstacle in improving. He was very patient in making King George say the right words even if it takes long minutes and a lot of effort for him to be able to do it.

Plot Progression

The only conflict was that King George VI did not want to be the next king because he was afraid of disappointing his people for not having the ability of speaking well. He did not want to face the crowd as a king who could not express his thoughts and plans. But then, as Lionel came, he was changed through a step by step process. The solution was Lionel and King George VI’s determination. Even they did not have the perfect friendship, they had the bond that nobody could break until they grew older.

Film Treatment

The King’s Speech was presented as how it was supposed to be – old-fashioned. From the costumes, to the places, and up to the props, everything matched to the theme. The messages of the film were clearly shown through the actors who did their parts well. Camera flips such as the one wherein Bertie and Lionel were doing exercises on the floor and the camera was continuously moving while the scene was changing with it were executed very cleverly and well. Shots were creative and the people in them were great which contributed big to the success of the whole film.

Content (Messages, Values, Themes)

The film showed a story of family, passion, and true friendship. Queen Elizabeth was a wife who loved her husband despite the differences and disabilities. She cared so much that she did not give up in looking for a cure. King George VI, on the other hand, was as much as concerned with his daughters and wife. He stood as a great father as he tried and tried to be the best even if he was suffering emotionally because of his speech. Lastly, Lionel, who surrendered all his time and effort, portrayed a character of a true friend. He did not see quitting as an option. King George VI was pretty hotheaded but that was not a reason for Lionel to stop encouraging King George VI to do better everyday. He had heard harsh words from King George VI but still continued to bring out the best in him, just like how true friends really are.

SMCR Model

SMCR Model is a model of communication proposed by David Berlo which sees communication as something that first comes from the Source, with the Message, that passes through a Channel which may be the television, the radio, telephone, body gestures, or any instrument for communication, before it goes directly to the Receiver who then interprets the message.

As a receiver, the messages were clearly presented and understood. The channels were maximized as they used the radio to send messages and inform people of what is currently happening and as a tool for the royalty like King George VI for expressing love, concern, and encouragement.

There was also one scene where King Edward VIII used the telephone to talk to his fiancé. Through that channel, they were able to understand each other clearly.

Body languages and tone of voices were also evident as they were communicating with one another. If somebody is feeling happy, there would be hugs, kisses, and laughter. Tears, screams, and curses were exchanged on the other hand for feeling and expressing negative emotions.

All in all, I thought the film was uninteresting for the first time I saw it. But as I watched it again, I took the time to analyze and appreciate every scene which made me see the importance and brilliance of the whole story. To add to that, it is a true story of a remarkable person! It is fascinating knowing what and how he went through the challenge that some people may be undergoing as well and take his story as an inspiration.

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