Friday, August 20, 2010

Capsule Review: The Last King of Scotland (2006)

Based on the 1998 novel by Giles Foden, The Last King Of Scotland dramatizes the rise of Ugandan President Idi Amin through the eyes of a fictionalized Scottish doctor (based partially on English-born Bob Astles) who becomes Amin's personal physician. Forrest Whitaker plays Amin so strongly, and with such manic conviction, that his performance completely dominates the film - which leaves James McAvoy's Dr. Nicholas Garrigan rather lifeless in comparison. The scenery and internal look at the strife of the period is fascinating, but Whitaker's rightly lauded performance is the reason to watch. Aside from some rather horrific moments, director Kevin Macdonald is quite restrained, though his camerawork (which utilizes a lot of handheld work) is sometimes a bit distracting.

2 comments:

Christopher Bussmann said...

This film really isn't that great: a mediocre movie anchored by a solid performance, an unfortunate trend in indie films these past few years.

Doug Tilley said...

Though it didn't last on the 1001 Movies list (it was only in for one edition), i'm a little surprised that it that long. There are some great moments in the film, and all of the performances are good, but outside of Whitaker there's really not much to sink your teeth into. Mediocre is the right word.