Sharon reviews The Last King of Scotland

. king.jpgSometimes I leave a movie feeling great, sometimes I leave feeling the same way I did coming in and once and a while I see something that makes me feel like I’ve walked away from a crime scene. I haven’t been this shaken by a movie in a long time. The Last King of Scotland is the most moving film I’ve seen all year, but be warned, it will not put you in a very social mood.

It’s funny because the film begins with quite a bit of humor, the story follows a young Scottish doctor who is looking to have an adventure before setting down to work at his family’s medical practice. A random poke at a globe sends him to an understaffed clinic in Uganda. What he doesn’t realize is that there has recently been a coup and Uganda has a new leader in power. By chance he meets the new king Idi Amin (Forest Whitaker) and gives him such a strong impression that Amin insists that he become his personal physician. The story that follows is crazy but believable and we are taken inside an Africa that is unforgettable.

Whitaker plays Amin so powerfully that you cannot help flinching under his gaze, there is also a childlikeness to his character which works to terrify and charm all who surround him. What stands out for me about the performance is how lovable he is as Amin, you can really understand how people stay loyal to him through very questionable circumstances.

The rest of the cast play their roles flawlessly. James McAvoy is great as Doctor Nicholas Garrigan , he is funny and charming as well as being very realistic. The chemistry between Whitaker and McAvoy is mesmerizing, the status changes are so swift that the audience is often running to catch up.

Thankfully the director always gives just a hair of enough room for us to be aware of everything that is happening. Kevin Macdonald captures this story so cleanly that you forget that this isn’t actually happen at the moment. His close to the action directing style is starting to becoming his signature; his doctu-drama Touching The Void (about mountaineers scaling Siula Grande in the Peruvian Andes) takes you so close to mountain climbing that you’ll feel lightheaded from the thin air.

In this movie I was left trembling, moved and informed. Some people may say there is too much sex and violence and there is some but I never found any of it gratuitous, it all paints a accurate portrayal of the dangerous life of Idi Amin. I give this movie a 9.5 out of ten, for a no go or routh it is a routh, if you are in the mood to be moved.

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9 thoughts on “Sharon reviews The Last King of Scotland

  1. This is one of the best movie fall season I can remember. This film was on my list of must see since it’s been predicted to be in the running for best picture. I am glad it;s getting good reviews.

    PS: Forrest Whittaker is a awesome actor. You people should check out his previous work.

  2. Poppe: True, Africa is big enough for more than one movie about the entire continent but the truth is I’m not sure the movie going public is open enough to it. They’re going to see the movie that gets all the hype and unfortunately, I think that’s going to be “Blood Diamond”. Not to say that THAT film is any better or worse (I’ve yet to see it) but from the previes alone, “The Last King…” looks like a better film.

  3. THE RETURN OF VARUN:::::::::::

    After a 3-month hiatus I am back and ready to comment and contribute like never before. mwahahahahahha

    Sharon, I saw a preview copy of this that was sent to my newspaper office for review. You are right this is simply a great film and might be one of the most overlooked ones of the year, so hopefully it will garner more attention soon. Forrest Whitaker provides an amazing performance and I hope he gets more spotlight roles because of his displayed acting versatility

  4. I’m glad you enjoyed this film. I found out about it a few weeks ago because of my interest in Gillian Anderson (I mean that in a non pervy way). Without researching Gillian’s filmography I never would have known about it and the trailer blew me away. So I envy you right now…wantttt…

  5. I have never even heard of Blood diamond. And I think africa is big enough to have two movies come out that centers on a african nation. And it’s not like Uganda and South Africa has anything incommon part from the continent.

  6. I don’t think this movie is getting the attention that it deserves. It looks fantastic but that other little movie about Africa (this time diamons in “Blood Diamond”) is getting all the buzz thanks to the big casting names. It’s too bad because for the money, I’d much rather see “The Last King of Scotland”. I was looking forward to seeing it before and I’m a little more excited now. Thanks Sharon.

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