Sometimes revisiting a book or a film can be tremendously rewarding. There’s often so much we miss the first time—or didn’t pay enough attention to. This is what makes the second time around so rewarding.
Tonight, with the rain pouring outside, I had the chance to cozy up on my couch and watch The King’s Speech once again; this time around Alex watched it, too. And once again, my hat is off to the screenwriter, David Seidler. Bravo! Not only did he write a fabulous, Oscar-winning script (or rewrite it, I should say!), but he refused to give up on his own dream of seeing this wonderful story come to life. When he couldn’t get it made as a screenplay, he turned it into a drama and got it up on the stage, where the director’s parents saw it and convinced their son, Tom Hooper, to take it on. What a story!
What is there about this film that makes it so captivating? Characters, first and foremost. King George VI and Lionel Logue—what a pair! Their combustible friendship sends sparks flying in every scene. Next, there’s the story, both personal and historical. On the personal level, we see one man fighting his demons with the help of a maverick counselor. On the larger canvas of circumstance, the main character must overcome a major frailty that threatens his ability to assume his country’s leadership at a perilous moment in time.
So we’ve got great characters, great conflict, great story. great circumstances.
But all this would fall flat without great writing. Most of the film revolves around conversation rather than action. Yet, David’s witty, emotionally charged, and cut-to-the chase dialogue never flags. It seems to ripen and grow richer as the film unfolds—quite a feat. Wonderful writing: what a gift to the world it is!