Just watched “The Kings Speech” (label me “early adopter“) Marvelled that the climax of the film, the bit that has your white knuckled hands sweatily gripping the arms of your club chair, is a man in a darkened room speaking into a microphone for nine minutes.
Much mainstream storytelling has situations dramatic but remote, causing us to identify with the characters in the bluntest way possible. It’s a natural disaster and the peril taps our adrenaline. Someone is being stalked and we feel a creeping horror. But by focusing not on King George VI and the constitutional crisis but on Bertie and his fiercely guarded anxieties, we relate in a richer way, we empathise. We see frustration, anger, helplessness and need, everyday emotions it takes no effort to call to heart. It’s the Lords prayer on a grain of rice when normally we get spray painted letters on a railway siding. There are only so many ways you can portray the end of the world without boring your audience but focusing on these discrete, internal worlds offers up limitless, enduring, relatable yarns.