The King's Speech: Overcoming Stuttering and Inspiring a Nation

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The opening statement informs the audience that it is 1925 and King George reigns over a quarter of the world’s population. King George asks his son to make a speech, but Bertie fails due to anxiety and stutters. The Duke visits his doctor at the Piccadilly Street in London who advises him to smoke of cigarette to boost his confidence. Later Bertie walks out in anger after almost choking on seven marbles the doctor asks him to put in his mouth. The Duke makes the wife promise that he will not attend speech therapy session anymore (American Life Leagues). However, the Duchess does not give up and seek the medical service of Mr. Logue despite the controversial speech therapy methods he uses. Lionel Logue and Bertie work together, but stressful situations thwart his healing progress. Lionel decides to probe into his personal life as he believes that the stutter is as a result of childhood trauma. When King George dies the Duke's brother inherits the throne, but David later leaves to marry an American Divorcee. Bertie inherits the throne, and he has to give a speech about the impending war with Germany. Logue helps Bertie to make his statements and finally gives an inspiring speech in the broadcasting room. Logue and Bertie become good friends, and Logue helps him with all his speeches. The people in Britain consider Bertie as the Good King.

Main Conflict

Interpersonal conflict is prominent in the film, especially with the Duke. He struggles with his speech deficiency continually losing his temper while still trying to be his best. He also struggles with his therapist Lionel Logue, the therapists insist on calling the Duke his first name despite his protests and instead of treating him he is more focuses on his personal life, which later emerges, is the critical aspect for his healing.

The Two Important Scenes

The Duchess still goes to visit Mr. Lionel Logue to seek therapy services. Earlier on, the Duke stated that he would not attend more speech therapies, but the Duchess does not give up (The King's Speech). She contracts a controversial therapist in the hope that he will cure her husband. The other scene is when Bertie is giving his speech, the tension is evident in the room, but Bertie manages to provide a robust and inspirational speech proving that Logue’s methods worked (Fuster).

Film Techniques

The film uses close-ups, low shot, and POV shots at the start showing a microphone. The emphasis on the microphone through the camera angles portrays that it is Bertie’s opponent; he has to face and overcome (Marchant). In contrast, the closing scene uses a medium-close up of Bertie, with a low viewpoint that makes him larger, signifying his confidence and control.

Significance of the Ending Scene

The ending scene shows how people despite their shortcomings can become great people. Bertie manages to conquer his speech problems with the help of his friend Lionel (The King's Speech). He is more confident and delivers strong words that his subjects want to hear during that period.

Theme

Friendship is an essential theme in the movie. Bertie a King of England and Lionel Logue, a failed actor from Australia, become friends and cures his speech problem. In spite of their social status, they remain close for the rest of their lives.

Significant Symbols

Microphones symbolize the transition from the old into the new world of technology. In the past, people never heard the King's voice. The title expresses the difficulty the Kings has in speaking to people while the models signify his childhood desires that his father forbade. The title also symbolizes the power in the spoken word through his speech his subjects get inspiration and are ready to face the war. Additionally, St. Edward's Chair expresses Bertie’s passion since he speaks quite fluently when Logue sits on the chair. Logue also sues the chair to show Bertie’s about what he cares for the most.

Significant Quotations

“BERTIE: My physicians say it's good for stuttering, relaxes the throat.” Bertie removes a cigarette but before he smokes, Lionel questions why he is smoking (The King's Speech). He replies that his physicians recommended since it relaxes his throat. The other quote is “Logue: Forget everything as else and just say it to me. Say it to me, as a friend” (The King's Speech). Logue speaks to Bertie before he makes his first speech about the war after the therapy.

Character Study

Lionel Logue does not have proper credential on speech therapy. However, he is excellent in pronunciation and speech but a mediocre actor. The head of the amateur theatre company refers to him as old and less regal (The King's Speech). He is a good psychoanalyst since he started working with the war veterans. He makes accurate psychoanalysis on Bertie and helps him with his speech problems. Lionel is a good friend despite the hurtful comments Bertie makes about his father. When the King makes his speech, he assures him telling him to forget everything else and say it to him as a friend (The King's Speech).

Relationship Analysis

The relationship between Bertie and Lionel is not cordial form the start. Lionel despite Bertie’s resistance insists on knowing Bertie on a personal level as it is crucial for his psychoanalysis process (Burgo). First, he refuses to address the Duke as “Your Royal Highness” and states, “In here, it's better if we’re equals.”  Bertie has temper problems. However, his words during the anger bursts are quite fluent giving Lionel a clue he is looking for. Lionel is dedicated to helping Bertie's hand he asserts his authority and posits, “I shall see you every day” when Bertie states that he shall see him the following week. His supportive role helps Bertie understand his problems better. Their friendship becomes stronger as time progresses as Lionel helps Bertie conquer his deepest fears.

Works Cited

American Life Leagues. Building a Culture of Life, One Student at a Time | Culture of Life Studies ProgramCulture of Life Studies, 2015, cultureoflifestudies.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/CLSP_KingsSpeech1.pdf.

Burgo, Joseph. "‘The King’s Speech’ (2010) and the Psychotherapy Relationship." Psych Central.com, 8 Feb. 2011, blogs.psychcentral.com/movies/2011/02/the-kings-speech-2010-and-the-psychotherapy-relationship/.

Fuster, Jeremy. "Remember This Scene?: 'The King's Speech'." Neon Tommy | the Voice of Annenberg Digital News, 2013, www.neontommy.com/news/2013/09/remember-scene-kings-speech.html.

Marchant, Beth. "Cinematographer Danny Cohen on The King's Speech." Studio Daily, 17 Feb. 2011, www.studiodaily.com/2011/02/cinematographer-danny-cohen-on-the-kings-speech/.

The King's Speech | Netflix. Netflix - Watch TV Shows Online, Watch Movies Online, www.netflix.com/title/70135893.

September 25, 2023
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Entertainment

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Film Analysis

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