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Charming. Magnetic. Murderous.
The Last King Of Scotland (DVD)
Member Name: aylawarner
The Last King Of Scotland (DVD)
Advantages: Forest Whitaker is brilliant; interesting and intense
Disadvantages: Picture quality seemed a bit out-dated, didn't find out what happened to Garrigan
After graduating as a doctor in 1970, Nicholas Garrigan decides to get away from his straight-laced life in Scotland and put his new skills to use in Uganda. Working in a small village hospital, Nicholas soon meets the new president, Id Amin, who immediately takes a liking to Nicholas after finding out he is Scottish. Amin appoints Nicholas as his personal physician and closest advisor and the pair try to right Uganda and make the country a better one.
But Nicholas soon realises that he has got himself caught up in a dangerous world that is way out of his control, as he realises that his new friend is not all he makes out to be. Disappearances, torture and murder are just some of the things that seem to happen around the very unpredictable Amin. Nicholas has to try to escape from Uganda and from his master's terrible reign, but that's only if Amin doesn't catch up with him first.
~ Cast ~
Idi Amin - Forest Whitaker
Nicholas Garrigan - James McAvoy
Kay Amin - Kerry Washington
Dr. Junju - David Oyelowo
Sarah Merrit - Gillian Anderson
Stone - Simon McBurney
As we're going to Uganda as part of our Africa trip in July, I've been doing a bit of research before we go just to find out a bit more about the places we're visiting. This is one of the more recent films about Africa and after reading up quite a bit about Idi Amin, I was quite interested in seeing this.
Forest Whitaker is the most perfect person to play the role of Idi Amin - he looks uncannily like him with his big round bulk that actually makes him look a bit like a giant teddy bear who you just want to hug - that is until you find out what he's really like! The resemblance really is so similar but it wasn't just his looks that made him the perfect part. His acting was brilliant and he seemed like a bit of a psychopath. One minute he would be laughing and joking around with his cronies and the next minute he would turn on one of them and become all serious, intimidating and angry. Then a couple of minutes later he'd be laughing and smiling again as if nothing out of the ordinary had just happened. His teddy bear looks made his character seem charming and friendly but in the blink of an eye his personality completely changes and he becomes someone to fear. I thought the film portrayed Amin's character very well and he was very much what I thought he would be like from other reading up I've done on him.
James McAvoy is great as Nicholas Garrigan, a friendly young man, but one who knows what he wants and what the distinction is between right and wrong. He does do some things that makes you question his sanity though, such as getting involved with one of Amin's wives, but despite his stupidity he is still just an innocent person in the wrong place at the wrong time and this makes him a very likeable character.
Through most of the film you don't really see what Idi Amin is getting up to but as it gets closer to the end, you begin to see some of the things he has done, people he has killed and tortured, and you realise how utterly evil he really is. Some of the scenes at the end really were disgusting but you have to see them otherwise you don't truly know what an awful man he is.
The film is set in the 1970s, so I understand that it is meant to look old-fashioned, but I thought that the actual picture quality of the film also looked quite old and not like it was only made a few years ago . Apart from that, the only other thing that I didn't particularly like was that we were left at the end of the film not knowing what happened to Nicholas and this was a little disappointing as he was the main good character.
Overall though, I really enjoyed this film and it was very interesting to find out a bit more about Uganda and Idi Amin. Admittedly, this isn't the sort of film that inspires you to travel to Uganda but there were certain parts, mainly with the children at the beginning, which did make me think that, despite the ruling of one horrid man, the country is actually a lovely place.
Certificate rating: 15
Running time: 121 minutes
Director: Kevin Macdonald
Summary: "I am the father of this nation, Nicholas. And you have most grossly offended your father."