Monday, June 20, 2011

The King’s Speech

So the other day, I went to see The King’s Speech in theatre.

Why, you ask, considering I’ve already seen it both in the original and with Vietsub on my computer, and already wrote a review for it? Well, because I’m weird like that. I wanted to see what the sound would be like in theatre, seeing as, you know, sound is a big part of the movie.

The theatre had a grand total of 7 people. Oh yes. This might be because it was a Monday evening but you know, that’s a pretty miserable number. That said, I do concur that this isn’t a film for the masses of Vietnam. It’s probably predictable that not many would want to sit through a film consisting of two men talking when they could be watching Pirates 4 (which literally bored me to sleep), or Super 8, or Kung Fu Panda 2. (By the way we were treated to a dose of Pirates 4 soundtrack just before the movie started as the sound from the room next to us drifted in.) Also the fact that it only comes to theatre now means that people have had time to download it off the internet and do fansub for it. In fact, the fansub version had a more witty translation than the theatre subtitles.

Hearing the soundtrack on speakers at the theatre alone was worth the price ticket (and considering it was a Monday evening, the ticket was cheap. Well, cheap, for Megastar standards.)  Of course, seeing mega-sized close-ups of Colin Firth was nice too.

Anyway, as I said, this movie probably isn’t for everyone, seeing as it is about two men in a room talking. You would think such a film would be pretty boring, but it’s surprisingly funny. Before I watched it, I expected it to be dramatic and moving, but I didn’t expect it to be funny. I haven’t watched a film where I enjoyed its humour so much in a long time. And it’s not the Pirates brand of humour either, it’s an incredibly serious subject but broken up by the British dry sense of humour.  You have to love a movie where the Archibishop of Cantebury is described as “pouncing up the steps” in the least disrespectful tone possible and a king’s coronation is simply: “Four short responses, kiss the book, sign the oath and you’re king! Easy!”

(I should just refer you to the Memorable Quotes section on IMDb.)

Geoffrey Rush was delightfully funny as Lionel Logue and Colin Firth so deserved that Oscar. It’s long overdue too. Helena Bonham Carter did this film in between filming for Harry Potter and you can’t get two more different characters than Bellatrix Lestrange and the Duchess of York. The only slightly nit-picky issue I had with the movie was that the children don’t age! Elizabeth and Margaret remained the exact same age from 1936 to 1939.

I’m still in awe at how accurately Colin Firth delivered the ending speech compared to the original recording that the real George VI did. It’s almost indistinguishable. Yes, part of that is probably due to sound editing, but still, it’s amazingly similar.  The similarity is even more pronounced when you hear it on speakers in the theatre and you get all the back echoes of the radio.

If you haven’t seen this yet, please go see it. It can’t be missed. Su You Peng agrees with me :P. (I didn't go looking for this, I stumbled on this while stalking actors on weibo :P.)

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And speaking Harry Potter, WHY MUST THEY WAIT UNTIL DEATHLY HALLOWS PART 2 TO REFUSE TO SCREEN IT IN VIETNAM??? WHY? WHY MUST I RESORT TO ILLEGAL DOWNLOAD TO SEE A MOVIE THAT I WOULD DEFINITELY PAY TO SEE AT LEAST ONCE, IF NOT TWICE??