King's Speech and What's Eating Gilbert Grape. Essay

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King's Speech and What's Eating Gilbert Grape.

A central theme in life which is reflected in many films is the value of relationships and particularly of family and friends. This theme expands on the way in which the help of family and friends assist in overcoming obstacles in life. It is a perennial favorite in literature and movies and forms the foundations of many works of art. Support and encouragement from others also often leads to an increase in the sense of self-efficacy, or a belief in oneself which provide the impetus and strength to overcome problems and obstacles in life.

This theme of support of friends and family and the way that this support assists an individual in overcoming hurdles and setbacks in life is clearly seen in these two films. However, as will be discussed, a comparison of the two films suggests a number of differences that can be discerned with regard to this theme.

The King's Speech is a 2010 British film directed by Tom Hooper and written by David Seidler. The film revolves around the dramatization of actual event and deals the life of King George VI of England.

Prince Albert, Duke of York (Colin Firth), the second son of King George V had a very bad stutter and embarrasses himself and the Monarchy in situations where he was required to speak. However when his brother abdicates the position and title of King of England Prince Albert is next in line and duty-bound to assume the throne. An essential part of his duties is of course public speaking, which is a formidable challenge that he has to overcome. It is this process of overcoming the severe speech impediment that serves as the central focus of the film.

King George is assisted by a speech therapist Lionel Logue. After a trying period of experimentation and great effort Logue succeeds in helping the King overcome his disability and the King goes on to become one of Britain's most revered and well-loved monarchs.

A point that is central to the film is that it is through the help and assistance of friends and family that the King is able to overcome his impediment. In the process of teaching the King how to overcome his problem the therapist and the King become friends and remain so for many years. However, the film also shows how the King's wife, Elizabeth, was instrumental in helping him. She finds the therapist and encourages the King to persevere even when he feels that he is having no success.

This film differs to certain extent from the following film that will be discussed in that the opposition and criticism of the King is severe and many people feel that he is not cut out for the role of King; a view that is seemingly supported by his inability to speak in public. This places even more psychological pressure on the new King and at times in the film he despairs. At these times his wife and the therapist prove to be pillars of strength that encourage him to believe in himself.

However it is the trusting relationship that develops between the two men, the speech therapist and the King, that shows the value of friendship in overcoming obstacles. This can be seen when the King has to make an extremely important speech that will define his entire Kingship -- the first radio broadcast on Britain's declaration of war on Germany in 1939 -- and is helped by the therapist at his side.

The therapist also goes further than required in his efforts to help the King overcame his embarrassing stammer. He delves into the King's personal history and finds that as a young boy he experienced a number of traumatic events, which included the early death of his epileptic younger brother. He also had a very strict father and was left-handed; this was seen as being in need of rectification and he was forced to write with this right hand. These factors and others, such as…

Sources Used in Document:


Unwin, G. ( Producer), & Tom Hooper ( Director) ( 2010).The King's Speech. [Motion

picture] United Kingdom: The Weinstein Company

Blomquist, A. ( Producer), & Hallstrom, H. ( Director) ( 1993). What's Eating Gilbert

Grape (Motion Picture). United Sates: Paramount Pictures.

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