Tuesday, May 29, 2007

The Last King of Scotland

MUST-SEE: A good political warfare movie teaches its audience, as well as entertains them. Comparable to Hotel Rwanda and Blood Diamond, The Last King of Scotland does both. And the quality of this one falls right in the middle of those two. We are introduced to Dr. Nicholas Garriger (James McAvoy), who abandons his comfy home and promising career in Scotland to pursue a career in medical relief in Uganda. Young and naive, Nicholas accepts a job as personal doctor to the president, Whitaker's Idi Amin. Everything is a party until Amin's personality seeps through. People go missing, people are found dead, and most start to live in fear. Dr. Nicholas finds himself a prisoner in the unrest, unable to leave, unable to speak, and fearful of his every move. The film does a fantastic job of creating the sense of fear that spread across Uganda during the regime's assaults. Whitaker earned his Oscar for his portrayal. The director didn't hold back either, exposing even the most graphic details of Amin's power trip. There is no room for tears, though, in this movie, which sets it below Rwanda, because suspense and anxiety, and disgust take precedence. This film is fantastic. The acting deep and emotional. The scenery beautiful and entrapping. The story powerful and grotesque. It's not light. It will leave a pit in your stomach, so know that going in, but let it's story grip you despite and you'll support the Academy on this one.

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