The value of friendship in The King’s Speech
David Seilder and Tom Hooper cooperated in the writing and shooting of the movie The King’s Speech that is a true-life drama that revolves around the relationship between Albert, an introvert heir who had a stammering problem and his extrovert friend and therapist, Lionel Logue and his wife Queen, Elizabeth. After the death of his father, King George V, Bertie found himself the sole heir to the throne. The problem was that he had a speech complication in that he stammered quite often. His wife, Elizabeth arranged for him to visit a therapist who was supposed to assist him with speaking fluently as well as being more extroverted. Albert’s first contact with the rest of his subjects did not appeal very well to the royal family, as he was unable to communicate with the subjects.
The movie, The King’s Speech was set in the 1920s and 30s in Britain. Most of the cast in the movie are well cultured Englishmen and women that have clung to British traditions such as taking spirits in the middle of the day and puffing away on cigarettes and engage in aimless banter about cricket and politics. The two opposing characters of Bertie and Lionel form the dominant part of the movies as the two try to accommodate each other. The collision between the King George and Lionel, the therapist was soon replaced by cooperation by the two people that slowly grew into an inseparable friendship. The movie ends with King George having mustered his stammering problem and delivering a national speech that unites and inspires the citizens during the war (Seidler 87).
The friendship between Lionel and King George was highly beneficial to the king. Lionel was a friend who respected the king but did not fear him. As his friend, Lionel expressed the truth about all the flaws that the king had including the stammering. At some point, Lionel stated that the king was less preferred and although he meant well, the king took it in a negative way. However, due to their strong friendship, they reconciled with each other after Lionel explained what had happened and the king forgave him. Lionel also constantly encouraged the king. At one point, he claimed that Albert was the bravest man he knew to become a king. Encouragement and honesty among friends is important as it helps in building reliability among people.
Lionel was a very dedicated friend who truly wanted to help Albert. When he was first referred to Lionel, Albert was a prince who had a high degree of royalty accompanied with many airs. His contact and friendship with Lionel helped him to be humbled and view life from a different perspective. In Lionel’s perspective, Albert was just a normal man with slight speech impairment. The majority of people saw him as a leader and expected him to be having no flaws. Lionel therefore saw beyond the psychological features of royalty that were possessed by many of Albert’s kind.
The friendship that developed between these two people was valuable in eliminating the loneliness in Albert’s life. During some of the therapy sessions, Albert discloses that he had no close relationships with anyone. The closest confidants he could reach out to were his nannies. Within the family, Albert confessed that he was not very open with his parents as his daughters were with him. Albert also confesses of the weak communication and bonds within their extended family. By befriending Lionel, Albert was finally able to have a friend to whom he could confide in, share with and talk about the happenings in his life (Logue et al 129).
Friendships are also valuable in providing support during the time when it is needed. Albert had a stammering problem that was not favorable with his new occupation. As a result, he was wary of delivering any public speeches. Lionel helped him during his time of need by slowly helping Albert to build his self-esteem. After that, he went on to help Albert make an emotional and fluent speech on national radio. During that moment in the radio station, King George VI became temporarily flustered that he was about to face his worst fear of speaking in public. Lionel helped him by telling Albert to say it to him as if he was saying it to a friend. This request by Lionel made Albert to calm down and he was able to deliver a powerful speech.
Friendship is valuable as it provides opportunities for people to attain employment, meet new people and experience a different side of life than that they were used to. Before Lionel was working as a therapy for the royal family, he was very desperate and unemployed. Lionel was unemployed and had failed to get one as an actor. This is because of his arrogance that was reflected in his introduction and approach to the royal family. Much later, Lionel becomes very defensive of his friend and his new lifestyle of royalty to a point of meddling in royal affairs. The close friendship between Albert and Lionel also put the therapist in a political position as one of the King’s confidants during the conflict periods with Germany.
Within the movie The King’s Speech, friendship was vital in overcoming class borders. Coming from a royal family, Albert was expected to behave in a regal manner. He had prescribed individuals whom he could associate. Royalty were not expected to relate with commoners. Conversely, Lionel was a pauper who knew medical therapy by chance but was highly uncultured and lacked etiquette. Through friendship, the barriers that have separated these two individuals were broken. Albert and Lionel shared many parts of their experiences that helped them discard cultural prejudices and stereotypes that were planted by the society (Jones et al 45).
The value of the friendship between Albert and Lionel has been clearly brought out in the movie, The King’s Speech. The closing of the gap between the commoners and royalty was a sign of the changing times. Apart from providing wholesome entertainment, the film also has important cultural values that can be emulated by the emerging gene rations to change their perceptions of each other.
Jones, Clarence B, and Stuart Connelly. Behind the Dream: The Making of the Speech That Transformed a Nation. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2011. Print.
Logue, Mark, and Peter Conradi. The King’s Speech. New York: Sterling, 2010. Print.
Seidler, David. The King’s Speech: The Shooting Script. New York: Newmarket Press, 2010. Print.