Saturday: For God’s Sake King, SPEAK

I saw The King’s Speech last night, and aside from those people behind me tapping texts into their phones (I had to reprimand–it was awkward), it was an enjoyable movie going experience.

My one comment, which may or may not be a complaint, is that the film’s focus was narrow.  I was able to feel for the King during the first half of the film.  Yes, it must be horrible to have such a severe speech impediment as an adult, let alone as the head of state. But for the second half, I had a hard time continuing to muster up empathy.  Yes, King George, you have issues with your father, and stammering, well, sucks.  But you’ve got to have other concerns, other problems in life, no?

Was it really just the main character’s self involvement that took me out of the film?  Do I need films to be epic, or to have something to say about larger issues?  I don’t think that’s it.  Black Swan was similarly narrowly focused on its main character’s psychology.

But while The King’s Speech felt one dimensional, Black Swan didn’t, and I think that’s because things escalated in Black Swan. King George stammered.  He worked on fixing the problem, but that’s pretty much it. Natalie Portman wanted to be a good Swan Queen, but the more she tried, the more obstacles she came up against so that at the end of the film, her character had metamorphosed.

Ahhh, the three act structure, ripe with conflict, escalation and transformation.  Will I ever escape you?

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~ by Clickity Clack on January 29, 2011.

2 Responses to “Saturday: For God’s Sake King, SPEAK”

  1. But can’t a movie just be an escape? Can’t you just go to it, fit into a character or a theme and feel empathy, or terror, or embarrassment and humiliation as George did?

    I get the simplicity but what level are newspapers written at? Maybe some of us are simple or need time to be simple and not complex.

    Just a thought, but I didn’t see your point until you mentioned it. Maye I am simple or need at time to be so.

    Or maybe the point is that if such a movie is to receive all the awards it is expected to receive, then it should be more.

    • Hello!! A new reader!

      I always think that I like movies that portray real life conflicts, and maybe this did. But it seems like George’s conflict was too singular to be realistic? I would have liked to see more dimensions to his struggle, or maybe more consequences of it. More stakes–what would happen if George failed? He would be embarrassed, but he already was embarrassed all the time anyways.

      But I totally agree. Movies and books should be escapes, whether they feature zombies or subtitles.

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