Monday, April 02, 2007
'the last king of scotland'
when idi amin assumed power in uganda in the early 70s,a young scottish doctor decided to travel to uganda by impulse to serve as a member of the un mission.he happened to meet idi amin by chance and the chance meeting ended with amin taking him in as a close adviser.nicholas garrigan(james mcavory),the young doctor, was swept away by idi amin's charisma but then later had to suffer his brutality.
forest whittaker won an oscar this year for a superb performance as the ugandan dictator idi amin.kevin macdonald's debut direction was a brilliant start to his career.an adaptation of the novel of the same name written by giles fiden.
the movie begins with idi amin getting injured in a car accident and the young scottish doctor who happens to be there is asked to treat him.distracted and pained by the suffering of a cow which was hit by the car,the doctor takes hold of idi amin's gun and mercykills the cow.impressed by garrigan's guts and chutzpah,idi amin makes him his personal physician and advisor.little did garrigan know then what he was in for.
admiration quickly transforms into hatred,as the brutality of idi amin surfaces every now and then.a comment by garrigan on the health minister leads to the minister's killing.garrigan wants to throw in the towel.idi amin would have none of it and confiscates his passport.a britsh diplomat encourages garrigan to poison idi amin which he tries later with disastrous consequences.an immature youngster, garrigan enters into a liasion with one of idi amin's wives.he even impregnates her.idi amin finds out about the affair and mutilates her.when he is caught red handed trying to poison idi amin,amin feels he has had enough of the doctor.the doctor is brutally tortured.an ugandan doctor saves him but the doctor is killed.
the entebbe episode is shown at the end and along with the hostages who are released garrigan escapes in disguise.by the time idi amin realises and rushes to the airport,garrigan has given the slip and is safely cruising at high altitufde.
the picture is not historical.it is mix of history and fiction.forest whittaker immereses himself in the role.for five months all he did and thought was idi amin.he went to sleep ,he says,and would be dreaming like idi amin.the east african accent which he cultivated later he found it difficult to shed off.he also says that he took showers to get the guy to leave him as he wanted to wash off those darker passions away.playing the role of his lifetime as the barbaric and charismatic ruler who killed an estimated 300,000 people,whittaker is on fire throughout the film and keeps the audience rivetted to their seats.the tension and camaraderie between the brutal amin and the brazen young doctor has been well brought out.
an extremely well directed film,strong performance from whittaker and wonderful music are the highlights of this history cum fiction movie.