BoringGoWhere is a Singapore travel and food blog co-written by Ms.W, individual who bought her journey in finding solutions on where to go and what to do on boring weekends in Singapore as well as her trips to other countries.
The story of King George VI of Britain, his impromptu ascension to the throne and the speech therapist who helped the unsure monarch become worthy of it.
At first, The King’s Speech, directed by Tom Hooper, looks awfully familiar, a musty historical drama full of monarchs and period costumes and atmospheric fog. Peer a bit closer though, and it’s a thoroughly modern tale, the true-life story of a king’s efforts to overcome his stammer in order to face his public, constructed like a contemporary makeover narrative.
The chap in need of help is Albert, Duke of York (Colin Firth). For as long as anyone can remember he’s had difficulties enunciating. His father, King George V (Michael Gambon), is an emotional despot who mistakes chiding for medicine. Real doctors are of little help either: they stuff Albert’s mouth with marbles and tell him that smoking will relax his lungs.
Nothing seems to work. Albert struggles even to tell bedtime stories to his children. He mooches around as if he’s seen the future: it’s grey. The top hat he sports at social functions appears to droop like a wilted flower. He sinks to new sloughs of despond after he delivers a speech at the 1925 British Empire Exhibition; it’s so nervous and jolting it can’t help but, to our ears, prefigure the end of empire.
In desperation, Albert and his wife (Helena Bonham Carter) seek help from an unlikely source: an unsuccessful Australian actor named Lionel Logue (Geoffrey Rush), who is working in London as a speech therapist. To say they don’t get on is an understatement. One is a commoner, the other a future monarch. One comes from Down Under, the other is accustomed to looking down at people as they bow before him.
Inspired by actual events that occurred in Mexico, Daniel & Ana recounts the painful story of two siblings from a wealthy family who are kidnapped for a few hours. They are forced to perform sex in front of a camera (apparently they were caught by a mafia dedicated to the clandestine trade of pornographic material which is distributed via the Internet) and then released to live forever with this disturbing experience in their minds, only trying to protect themselves with silence.
The film brings up this dark story because it’s necessary to understand that this kind of sexual violence is a common practice and thus, public awareness is required. Even more so when it involves criminal activities such as child abuse or blackmail. But beyond this genuine concern and some interesting notes on upper class behavior in contemporary Mexico, this is not a compelling film, because of the weakness in its conception.
No density in character development and an unnecessary detachment of emotions in order to avoid sensationalism; all resulting in a never fully explored subject. The key for emotional distance is an accurate observation (which this film lacks), the one that could dissect a society without mercy and show how it operates. There is also a visual code: a cold, elegant, geometrical use of spaces and framing (which this film tries).
Daniel & Ana works best when it forgets this distance and presents tragedy in capital letters, slightly suggesting that a leak of incestuous and repressed sexual desire has been set free and exposed to daylight. That’s why those grey clouds constantly appear over the city like contained tears or a storm about to break out. Good intentions, but not daring enough; this means heavy subject matter but trivial filmmaking.