The King’s Speech

Yes, we all speak with hesitation once in a while yet no one does it more often and more embarrassingly as King George VI. Unluckily, his job requires him to speak in public, worse yet, in a crowd larger than his own nation –  with undisguised stammer.

The King’s Speech is a true story written by David Seidler about an Australian speech therapist, Lionel Logue (played by George Rush) who uses unorthodox & controversial teaching methods to help King George VI (played by Colin Firth) overcome his stammer. Based on Wiki, this story was first produced as a stage play in Britain where Tom Hooper’s mother happened to be watching, later convincing her son to direct the film.

My castle, my rules. That’s Logue’s obliging principle while coaching King George VI. Most of the time, teachers intimidate students, but in this story, the reverse was the case. Logue did not begin the training sessions with  the Duke of York until Bertie agreed to treat him with total equality and trust, a demand none of the King’s previous speech therapists dared to impose.

It’s splendid how the movie unfolded the deep-seated reasons for Bertie’s speaking problem. The writer sublimely explored how the affect (emotional aspect) of the learner can be the best indicator of success in any speech training efforts. I’ve always believed that fear hampers thinking, and that trauma is like a monster slumbering under your bed (just waiting for your weakest moment to launch its attack).

The King’s Speech may lack the mechanical details of speech therapy, yet it has been greatly compensated by Logue’s masterful probing techniques, confrontational approach and real concern, all of which inspired Bertie to be braver and try harder. It’s absolutely a must-see for its impeccable actors playing their roles in a touching story of 1930’s royalty.

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