The King’s Speech, directed by Tom Hooper, is a film about Britain’s King George VI and his struggle to overcome his stammer. King George VI, also known as “Bertie,” is forced to rule after the abdication of his brother King Edward VIII. With the help of his supportive wife Elizabeth he meets speech therapist Lionel Logue, who encourages him to overcome his speech impediment. Important elements of the film are perseverance and the idea that even a commoner could help to inspire a reluctant king to lead.
Bertie is shown agonizing through a session with a doctor who couldn’t seem to help him and although he faces many discouragements he still finds it in him to seek out help. In the scene of his second visit with Lionel he says “I’m willing to work hard, Dr. Logue. ” He expresses the desire to improve his flaw even as a Royal Highness. He doesn’t give off an egocentric I-don’t-need-help attitude but instead admits his imperfection and allows for improvement. He is then shown going through sessions with Lionel with utmost perseverance, even through his peculiar exercises.
When Bertie is reminded of his brother’s possible abdication he is distraught with fear that he may be forced unto the throne as a result. He tries to resist the duty to become King, feeling he is inadequate for the title. However, Lionel feels differently and encourages the idea instead. Lionel Logue plays a vital role in the film. Not only is he the advocate, but he also becomes a voice of reason, and ultimately helps Bertie find his own voice. Especially in the scene where King George VI is to go through the crowning ceremony, and questions about Logue’s credentials.
Lionel sits on the coronation throne and King George VI is angrily shocked goes into a shouting argument with Lionel then says, “Listen to me. Listen to me! ” Lionel retorts “Listen to you? By what right? ” The King the says, “By divine right if you must. I am your king. ” To which Lionel says “ No you’re not, you told me yourself. You didn’t want it. Why should I waste my time listening? ” At that point King George VI shouts aloud, “Because I have a right to be heard. I have a voice! ” Lionel satisfied with his tactic agrees, “Yes you do….
You have such perseverance Bertie, you’re the bravest man I know. ”With that, the king has a moment of profound realization. The King’s Speech portrays endurance of a leader who shared his humanity with his people and even allowed an outsider that came from a different class to help unleash his full potential. This is evident when he sought out help to improve his stammer and met Lionel Logue who gave him hope and allowed him to change his life for the better, even through the most difficult of times.