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The Last King of Scotland

Discussion in 'Movies' started by Dave Hackman, Oct 18, 2006.

  1. Dave Hackman

    Dave Hackman Well-Known Member

    Jan 11, 2000
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    A young Scottish man Nicholas Garrigan chooses to go to Uganda to work for a medical mission as a doctor. Once there he becomes highly recruited by the outspoken leader Idi Amin. Idi who talks a good game about how he is trying to do everything he can for his people begins to show something very different as time progresses and difficulties arise.

    I think it’s safe to say that this is a must see for 2006. The story was presented in such an easy manner that little effort is required to absorb what is going on. It should appeal to those who rarely stray from the action scene. I’m not putting it down for this because in this film its better to just focus on the characters or should I say Whitaker and allow the energy to keep moving rather then slowing down the pace to concentrate on political details.

    Forest Whitaker as Idi Amin has enough energy and charisma to drive you to the final credits without any yawns or glances at your watch. His performance is easily the best thing going for this movie and I couldn’t imagine what this film would’ve been without his performance. The truly scary part about his character is how quickly he can go from making you feel very welcomed and loved to the absolute shaking fear that you may be executed right where you stand.

    The young Scottish doctor played by James McAvoy is whom the story is told though. He did a decent job especially in latter scenes were the tension was ratcheted up. He definitely stood out in a crowd. His slight cocky attitude helped overcome his boyish looks.

  2. Michael_K_Sr

    Michael_K_Sr Well-Known Member

    Aug 14, 2005
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    Chicago 'burbs
    Real Name:
    I saw this today and thought it was excellent. While I didn't really get a complete feel for what Uganda was truly like during Amin's time in power, the movie functions well as a taut thriller. The biggest downside was that I thought Gillian Anderson's role was far too limited in a throwaway performance. I also have to say I really liked the music. I'll be checking out the soundtrack. [​IMG]
  3. Patrick Sun

    Patrick Sun Moderator

    Jun 30, 1999
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    This 2-hour+ film simply moves without much bloat to the script, and the performances by Forest Whitaker (as Idi Amin) and James McAvoy (as Dr. Garrigan) were first rate. Whitaker's getting a lot of love in awards season for his take on Amin, as he's able to move through the gamut of Amin's charisma and viciousness and basically light up the screen when he's onscreen. McAvoy provides the anchor perspective from which the story is told from, and he co-carries the film on a combination of Scottish charm, mixed with brashness and caring for people.

    It's a very engaging and accessible film, and by the time you get the final reel, you may have suffered from frayed nerves from its conclusion, but the power of the story is nonetheless involving and interesting.

    It took me a few minutes to realize that the blonde woman with Garrigan was played by Gillian Anderson, who could easily pass for a sister of Virginia Madsen in this film.

    I give it 3.75 stars, or a grade of A-.
  4. Kirk Tsai

    Kirk Tsai Well-Known Member

    Nov 1, 2000
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    I thought this was just a so-so movie. No sense is made about Amin's rule. As Michael points out, the filmmakers were making more of a thriller than painting the political landscape, but their goal made it less interesting to me. Since Amin is only a personality in the movie, and rarely a ruling man, we see his personal ticks, but that's not the complete picture. McAvoy's character is particularly unsatisfying. Not only is he ignorant to Amin's actions, his own were also deeply harmful. Yes, the film points out his shortcomings, but the general tone is one of affection. Of course, he is a stand-in for The West, so perhaps the filmmaker's view on him is already pretty critical.

    Can't disagree with the praises for Whitaker though. He is also helped tremendously through the way he is shot. The frequent use of hand held cameras and the frantic framing help produce the image of an unstable man.
  5. Adam Lenhardt

    Adam Lenhardt Well-Known Member

    Feb 16, 2001
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    Albany, NY
    Enjoyed it quite a bit when I saw it early last fall.

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