Friday, 25 February 2011

The Last King of Scotland (2006)

A Powerhouse Performance - 4/5
So I saw this film last night called 'The Last King of Scotland'. I'd seen the film previously, and very much enjoyed it, but this time round I realised just how good this film is. Forrest Whitaker deserves a lot of praise, he delivers a powerhouse performance as Idi Amin, capturing his charm and tact as well as his explosive anger and denial. The accent was top notch too! For a film that is based on true events, it is important that the actors adsorb you into this and make it seem like you could be watching a documentary. Whitaker certainly manages this. James McAvoy must also be praised for his part in the film. When put up against an angry Amin, McAvoy effectively produced an image of a scared little boy. In the scene where McAvoy threatens to leave but Whitaker persuades him to stay with an embrace, you can really feel the power Amin had over his advisers. Although scared of Amin, Dr. Garrigan (McAvoy) shows no fear of speaking his mind, one reason why Amin took to him so fondly. McAvoy captures the brash, confident side of the doctor well also.
The director Kevin Macdonald and screenplay writers Peter Morgan and Jeremy Brock also deserves praise for the way they captured the spirit of the African nation Uganda. With scenes that will shock you, and scenes showing the wondrous beauty of the country, it seems they set out to show the ultimate effect of Amin on the people of his nation. You could feel the effect of this from the very start of the film. Genuinely shocking scenes of mutilation and torture only added to the 'realness' of this film. It is certainly a movie made to shock, and the fact that it is based on true events also adds to this. It was a triumph of a film and superbly cast.
Would I recommend it? Buy the DVD today!


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