Movies about royalty, the rich, and the powerful, typically don’t interest me much. I don’t find them very accessible. Often they are stories about people who have very different values than I do pursuing goals that don’t interest me.
But The King’s Speech is about the fear of not being good enough, something I think everyone can relate to at some point in their life. It’s the story of King George IV of Britain and his struggle to overcome his stutter, the obstacle to his ascension to the throne, and the physical manifestation of his crippling self-doubt.
What moved me most about The King’s Speech is the idea that no matter what your status in life, you are human, with human feelings and human doubts about yourself. We are so vulnerable as children to all of the stories about what’s wrong with us and why we are no good. And we carry these stories with us far into adulthood, and sometimes our whole life. In doing so, we become complicit in a bizarre kind of sadomasochism, both abuser and abused.
I see this in my own life. What keeps me from doing “great” things in life, from playing a much bigger game, and from having the things I want are the stories I tell myself about who I am and what I can do. Or more accurately, what I can’t do.
When Bertie is crying and repeating over and over again, “I’m not a king, I’m not a king,” it’s just an explicit exclamation of something he’s been telling himself his whole life, “I’m not good enough, I’m not good enough.”