January 27th, 2011

blackcat

The King's Speech



The King's Speech is promoted as, to quote one reviewer, "on duty and the crippling weight of expectancy." But that's not what this film is about. Concisely, this film is about relationships, or more specifically friendships, and the intimacy, vulnerability, and inherent risk that's required if a friendship is ever to be authentic. The theme that "authentic relationships require risk" makes this film unique in that it is a detailed study on what's necessary for true intimacy amidst the contrasts---rich vs. poor, aristocracy vs. commonality, educated vs. uneducated, fear vs. courage, hope vs. despair, duty vs. self-interests, and so forth. The contrasts present the challenges, or rather the obstacles that stand in the way of not only authentic relationships in general, but a real and viable friendship in particular. And the plot explores many avenues for how to overcome these obstacles. The notion that risk is required for authentic relationships is also why the film's primary subplot is one of fear and trauma. The beauty of this story lies in that it is NOT a film about overcoming one's fear or "getting past" one's trauma. Thankfully, it offers no pithy or simple solutions to complex and complicated emotions or histories. But rather, at its heart, the film suggests that it is only by accepting, facing, and even wholeheartedly embracing one's fears and traumas that a person can ever have the chance to turn those fears and traumas into healing and hope.