Friday, 6 November 2009

Last King of Scotland (Smaltz Review)

Dir: Kevin Mcdonald
Starring: Forrest Whitaker, James McAvoy
Year: 2006

For those of you who are unfamiliar with this story it has nothing to do with the Highlands or Highlander (fortunately). This is a dramatised story of Idi Armin’s rule of Uganda, a man curiously obsessed with England’s northern cousin so as to name himself the Last King of Scotland.

Smaltzy don't waste no time: this is a tremendous film. Forrest Whitaker’s performance in the lead role is one that will be looked back on as classic for a long time.

The story follows Nicholas Garrigan, a naieve and fun-loving
Scottish physician. The characters are so well judged and portrayed that we are drawn in by the charismatic Armin just as Nicholas is. He begins by accepting the role of his personal physician and is eventually called his closest advisor.

Each step closer to Amin is filled with tension until the horrendous acts committed under his rule are impossible to ignore. This first half is an exciting look at an exotic country of the brink of change but the second is pure political thriller.

The chilling turning point comes when Nicholas wants to get out only to find his house ram sacked and a new Ugandan passport waiting for him, effectively trapping him in the country.

There are some disturbing images but only occasionally as the filmmakers show great restraint which makes the whole thing more frightening. Be assured this film is top notch!

Smaltz-o-meter: Top Work

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