THE QUEEN’S SPEECH – REVIEW – Yesterday saw the release in streaming of the sequel to Tom Hooper’s Oscar winning The King’s Speech, entitled The Queen’s Speech and starring Elizabeth Windsor.
The King’s Speech was a hugely successful film, both commercially and critically and many had high hopes for the sequel The Queen’s Speech, but unfortunately this pedestrian drama is plagued by an uninspiring screenplay, a wooden central performance and an embarrassingly short running time. So where to start? First of all the decision to cast Elizabeth Windsor as ‘herself’ has to be seen now as a huge error. Obviously one that the producers were forced to make after Dame Helen Mirren proved more expensive than simply getting the real thing but as good a monarch as Elizabeth is, she is not a great actress. her line readings were without any kind of emotional warmth and her eyes took on a shark like sheen as she spoke about light and darkness. Gone was Colin Firth’s fragility as the stuttering King George and in was the icy self-confidence of a ruler who has not once doubted her own right or capacity to reign. The script was a jumble of cliches without a single hint at tension, interiority or drama. What might have saved this woeful one note drama would have been the introduction of a Geoffrey Rush kind of character – perhaps played by Ray Winstone – someone called Ralph or Dennis, someone whose everyday normality would contrast and humanize the regal and give us a renewed sense of respect and obedience to the Crown. As it is, The Queen’s Speech feels thin and under-written, emotionally torpid and woefully simplistic. One can only hope that the third projected film in the trilogy Charles in Charged will produce something more stimulating or at least funny.