Newest Review: ... where. This is definately worth buying if you ever find this on sale or just if you see it! Extras The DVD does have limited features. It... more
The True Story That Madness Could Effect Anyone
The Madness Of King George (DVD)
Member Name: scotlandizdabest
The Madness Of King George (DVD)
Advantages: Exceptionally Talented Cast, Fantastic Story, Fictional, Cheap
Disadvantages: Lack Of Extra Features
This is one movie that everyone has to see. I am now really getting into historical dramas and films and while looking around found this film. The Madness of King George is the story of King George III, and follows his life as he goes through a rare, heredetory disease which causes the sufferer to temporarily go made. The film actually began life as a stage drama by the critically a-claimed Alan Bennett. This is a true story which has been edited to make it that even bit better for our screens.
Nigel Hawthorne fantastically plays King George, as he goes through the stages of the monarch who's terrified of losing his marbles, and then does! However it is amazing how he is still able to sometimes defy and completely outwitt the doctors. Alan Bennett is quoted as saying that he would not allow the film to go ahead, unless Hawthorne was King George. He was the one who skillfully played him in the highly successful play adaption. This role seems to come so naturally to Hawthorne and the acting is 5 star.
Helen Mirren is a natural born Queen! He role as Queen Charlotte shows her becoming the caring wife who produced so many children for the king. She is always putting a brave face and is the kings rock throughout this horrible illness. Mirren is one of my favourite actresses and is so talented, which highly shows.
Rupert Everett plays the jealous Prince of Wales. I loved seeing him in this sort of role as a horrible scheming Prince. However the Queen proves she is just to powerful for him, as she knows what he has done. Everett delivers highly on this film and is almost mildly comical in his acting, showing that the character is just a cocky, arrogant man who is terrified of his father.
It is 1788, and the Georgian years are well under swing. Huge dresses, big white hair (wigs) and new found parliament and democracy were taking over. King George III (Played by the incredible Nigel Hawthorne) has been on the throne for just under thirty years. His regain hasn't been going to bad, he is married to Queen Charlotte (A german, played by Helen Mirren). He is the first king never to have a mistress on the side, and as it is shown in the film, he truly loves his wife. They even address each other as 'Mr and Mrs King'! Life isn't bad for them, George however has lost the American colonies. This deeply angers him and this is where the film really starts to hit it off. As he reaches roughly fifty years old, he is troubled by severe abdominal pains. There is a a very funny scene where he "Tries for a fart!" However he starts to behave very odd and irrational. In one scene, King George rising early and running across the fields in his nightshirt, failing to remember names, becoming aggressive towards his family and thinks Queen Charlotte's lady-in-waiting, Lady Pembroke (Amanda Donohoe), is actually his wife. This deeply upsets the royal family, in which he has 14 children! You can tell how little the doctors knew as they try simply horrible methods to help including ;blistering or bloodletting their patient, examining his poo (Gillian McKeith style!) and trying terrible psycology to get him back to normality. While all this is happening, his eldest son and heir the Prince of Wales (The fantastic, Rupert Everett), wants to have his father certified insane so he can become regent. He hates his father, and is simply jealous of him and wants to be king exceptionally badly.
The Royal family send for Doctor Willis (Ian Holm) who has a reputation for curing similar cases. By pure accident (Or not?) Dr Willis is actually somewhat better at his job than the previous Doctors. I say better, what I really mean is that the King is so terrified by the upsetting, and horrible restraining chair and straitjacket. But King George eventually stops being mad and after a heartfelt scene where he hugs his wife and remembers himself. This recovery is celebrated with a huge celebrations and of course, a service at St Paul's Cathedral. The Prince of Wales of course is not happy and has been trying to bring down his father, trying to persuade Parliament to give him the powers. What is fantastic about the film is that it shows in the backgrounds to political battles between the 'Tories' and the 'Whigs' This adds some fantastic drama and lets you as the viewer, make up your mind about both parties.
The Georgians always had their unique dress. Big dresses which could easily acts as tents, extravagent hair and beautiful classical music. The film very accurate portrays just some of the every day activites and costumes of the characters. The attention to detail is really really good. The locations are some of the most traditional and beautiful in England including Arundel Castle in West Sussex and Eton College. These locations really add a realistic edge to the film. King George III did go mad and actually suffered from a disease called Porphyria. Mary Stuart, Queen of Scots is also said to have suffered the disease (although it was said to be the acute diagnosis) And there is evidence that Vincent van Gogh also suffered from this horrible disease.
It is no wonder this film has won such fantastic films. It has won the Academy Award for Best Art Direction. It was then nominated for Best Actor in a Leading Role (Nigel Hawthorne), Best Actress in a Supporting Role (Helen Mirren) and Best Writing, Screenplay Based on Material from Another Medium. This is an impressive bunch of nominations, and these are just from the Academy Awards. The film was then nominated for an incredible 14 BAFTA Awards, in which it won 3, being Award for Best British Film, Best Actor (Nigel Hawthorne) and the Award for Best Make Up/Hair (Lisa Westcott). And to top it of a lovely Cannes Film Festival award for Helen Mirren, who won the Best Actress Award. This just shows how fantastic this film is.
Price/Where To Get It
I bought this for £4 from HMV in the Christmas sale. After a bit of price comparison you can get it from Amazon for around 99p, or on video for 1p! Ebay are also selling this film exceptionally cheap. So many shops sell this, so have a good look around. It would not be worth paying more than £10 for this, as you could get a better deal else where. This is definately worth buying if you ever find this on sale or just if you see it!
The DVD does have limited features. It has a theatrical trailer, a featurette and commentary by the director Nicholas Hytner plus the usual chapter selection and subtitle option. As this is a fairly old movie, don't expect huge mini-movies about how the film was made (although that would be really interesting) but the film makes up for the lack of extras on the film. It has a PG classification, however I would not really show this to children as it does have mild swearing and some agressive and scary scenes where King George is getting restrained. It has a total running time of 1 hour and 40 minutes.
The film really deals with how little Doctors really knew about medical practices and the understanding of the mind and the human body. This is fantastically proven after all the horrible experiments on the king. You will notice it also show the start of the powerlessness of the King in a time when Parliament is becoming Top Dog. This is a must see film. History lovers will adore this film, as it shows so brilliantly the what these times would have been like to live in. This also has a certain relevence to "King Lear" for those who love this play. It has its similarities, and for those who enjoyed this play then "The Madness Of King George" is a must see. The acting is fantastic and really completes the film. A 5 star film.
Definately a film everyone must see.
Copyright of Scotlandizdabest on Dooyoo.co.uk
Summary: A real must see film!