Sie sind auf Seite 1von 2

A Literary Criticism on the movie “The King’s Speech”

by Camille Juliano

How could someone lead an empire when he is overpowered by his fears? When
does a king become a king?

These are the focal questions a viewer can ask his self after the first scene of the
movie where the male protagonist should give a closing speech at the British Empire
Exhibition but failed to do so.

The British Empire was on the brink of war with the Nazi and there was a dire need
of a ruler. Edward should be the king in nature of succession but because he was madly
besotted with a woman who was already twice divorced, he chose to abdicate the throne.
Hence, the responsibility of kingship and the hopes of the Empire fell solely on Albert’s or
“Bertie’s” shoulders.

Aside from the impending war, unfortunately, Bertie has an internal war himself—
having a debilitating speech impediment. With the constant support of his wife Elizabeth,
they sought the help of doctors but none seem to be effective in curing Bertie’s stuttering
problem. Elizabeth then found Lionel Logue, a speech therapist who has unorthodox
methods of curing, and who was later revealed that he wasn’t really a professional doctor
but a Speech and Stage Arts instructor. They had a rough start because at this point,
Bertie had already lost hope—until he played the free recording Lionel gave him in which
he was reciting Hamlet’s “To be or not to be” while listening on music. Through the span
of their session, it is implicitly portrayed that Bertie’s stuttering root cause goes way back
when he was a child. Apparently, how he was brought up as a child by a stern and
intimidating father was a big factor. It wasn’t elaborated but a viewer can make a
conjecture by the recollections of his childhood with his father. This meant that the story
was told from the male protagonist’s point of view because what was shown were only
limited to what he could remember as a child, unlike when it is in omniscient point of view
which would then revealed what his traumatic experience with his father was. Another
manifestation that it was told in the first-person’s point of view is the presence of Bertie in
every scene, and that it was never revealed what his king father thought of him as his
son—not until he died. Worse, his father’s last words about him was just relayed by his
queen mother.

Furthering in the story, Bertie continued his therapy and it was portrayed that the
process and improvement was slowly. In real world, the portrayal of his improvement was
only natural because curing speech problem is really a long process. However, this slow-
paced development and linear plot poses a downside in regards to keeping the
audience’s attention. We got to admit this historical film is not everyone’s cup of tea,
especially those who are much more inclined to action, romance, or thriller films.

But what makes this film striking was the personal and humanistic message that
was portrayed by Bertie when they were practicing his coronation dialogue inside the
Westminster Abbey. His confidence was dwindling because he couldn’t memorize the
only four lines he must utter in the coronation which lead him to giving up and starting an
argument with Lionel. In the end, Lionel was able to set him back on his feet in a daring
counter-action of disrespecting him which led him to utter

“…I’m your King! Because I have a right to be heard! I have a voice!”

Then we knew it was his eureka motivation. Our protagonist has developed into a
round character.

Its theme was the very feeling that everyone could relate to—that everyone has
imperfections, fears and insecurities—and it was shown well in the movie that even Kings
experience what regular people do. It leaves the viewers a great impact that we can only
overcome our greatest fears if we help ourselves and believe in ourselves.