Monday, December 22, 2014

The King's Speech Revisited

Just finished watching The King's Speech again. What a contrast between this film and the myriad superhero flicks that have run amok through theaters in recent years.

I wrote about the film in 2010 when it first came out, more or less citing the significance of the story it was based on.  A few additional features of the film caught my attention this time around.

The film centers on two main characters; "Bertie" (Colin Firth), the Prince of York who ultimately assumes the throne when his brother abdicates, and Lionel Logue (Geoffrey Rush), the speech therapist who ultimately helps Bertie find his voice.

SPOILER ALERT

The Prince of York has a speech impediment that shames him and the film begins with his giving a speech, quite badly. It ends with his first radio speech to the nation as king in an effort to inform his people of the impending war.

One of my favorite pieces of classical music is the second movement of Beethoven's Seventh Symphony. It broils with tension and has been used effectively in the climactic scene of this film. It was served up with equal power in Immortal Beloved during a scene in which Gary Oldman as Beethoven has his carriage stuck in the mud while on the way to an important tryst. There are few pieces of music that so effectively convey anguish.

But King George prevails, and he delivers his lines with authority.

The second thing that struck me was the parallel to my new children's book A RemarkableTale from the Land of Podd. Just as England was on the threshold of war, so also the king in my story is in trouble, with enemy troops on his country's border. He needs a hero to save the land, but everyone he asks to help is more aware of his or her shortcomings and refuses. The king in my story also has an issue to overcome. Instead of a speech impediment, he doesn't like his feet. Either way, the important thing is to take action.

We all have shortcomings that we're often painfully aware of. This should not disqualify us from doing our part when called upon.

"and even though he didn't like his own feet..."
Read more about The King's Speech.
A Remarkable Tale is available online here.

Live courageously. The world needs your voice.

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