5 October 2014
Film Critique #1
The King’s Speech
1. What is the plot of the film?
The King’s Speech tells a story of a man who becomes the king. George, better known as “Bertie”, takes the throne after the abdication of his brother. Bertie is very hesitant about this big step. He feels he is not fit to be king due to his stutter. His wife seeks help from an Australian speech therapist, Lionel Logue, who we learn later, has not attended prestige schooling and has very untraditional methods and techniques. With much practice and with Lionel’s help, Bertie is able to give his first speech as king boldly with great confidence and gaining tremendous support from his country.
2. What is the role of the individual with the communication disorder?
Bertie is one of the main characters in this film as well as the individual with the communication disorder. The title of king requires confidence, leadership and support from his or her country. Bertie did not feel as if he met any of these requirements and was hesitant to step up to be king. Throughout childhood, Bertie was constantly being punished and corrected for his stutter. We learn that Bertie grew up with the stutter and was left handed as well. His father quickly managed to train him to use his right hand, but was very negative and over corrective when addressing the stutter. According to our lecture, a parent with a child who stutters, needs to be supportive, not show negativity and should provide verbal reinforcement. During his first public appearance, Bertie appeared scared, anxious and nervous about delivering his speech. He struggled and did not finish. This contributed to a lack of support from his country. After many therapy sessions, you could see the trust bond between the therapist and Bertie. This trust is critical. They worked together to find methods to overcome the stutter and help Bertie deliver a confident public speech. Throughout the journey, Bertie displays many common characteristics of someone who doesn’t believe they can overcome their disorder such as anger, distrust and frequently giving up.
3. What role does the communication disorder itself play in the plot of the film?
Bertie’s stutter is part of who he is. Bertie lets the communication disorder take over his life and interfere with fulfilling his duty of becoming king. He feels as if the disorder is too strong and there is no way to overcome something he has had since childhood. The communication disorder is portrayed as a main aspect of the film. Much of the film concentrates on the disorder, the king’s struggle with the stutter, as well as therapy methods to overcome the stutter.
4. To what degree is the communication disorder accurately portrayed? Are there stereotypes or misinformation? Is the etiology accurately explained? Explain.
The film does a great job portraying a communication disorder. It depicts the repetitions and prolongations due to the stuttering. It also displays secondary behaviors such as Bertie’s eye twitching, head jerking and his mouth expressions. In lecture, we learned stutterers should change their way of thinking to “ I can achieve success even if I am a stutterer.” The film shows us that any individual can have a speech disorder, even a king. The film also described The Interaction Frame Model (Wendell Johnson, 1946). Lionel, the speech