The Last King Of Scotland – Gruesomely Charming

We practice democracy within our Movie Review Squad. I personally would have given this movie a pass not because it is not a good show but my preference is in the vague order of originality, witty scripts, beautiful scenery/people … and a bit of tastefully done sex scenes won’t harm.

I can’t help but to compare “The Last King Of Scotland” with “Blood Diamond”. Both movies have plots originated from Africa; both are equally intense and gruesome; and both leading actors are nominated for this coming Oscar. Forest Whitaker who acted as the brutal Ugandan dictator Idi Amin has already earned him a Golden Globe Award. I still hope that Leonardo DiCaprio will win the Oscar this year but knowing the strong correlation between Golden Globe and Oscar (so I am told) … we shall see.

“The Last King Of Scotland” is based on Giles Foden’s award-winning debut novel of the same name as inspired by real people and real events. A story spins off from a Scottish doctor, Nicholas Garrigan (James McAvoy), who found himself becoming the physician and advisor of Idi Amin. Idi Amin is real while the character Garrigan is fictitious (loosely inspired by Amin’s English-born associate Bob Astles). Unlike “Blood Diamond” that is constantly gruesomely intense (or intensely gruesome?) throughout the show, the first half of “The Last King Of Scotland” is actually quite enjoyable to watch. The acting is great and I especially like McAvoy’s carefree character Garrigan. The transformation slowly took place when the charming Amin turned into a brutal monster. Towards the end, it was just blood and gore. I heard a lot of gasping from the audience behind me.

A movie with lots of quality acting, at times humorous scripts, and a slowly build-up of intensity. “Blood Diamond” has a lot of outdoor shots so I got to enjoy the culture side of Africa. Majority of “The Last King Of Scotland” was shot indoor or at some locations that did not seem to be uniquely African. If I have to choose one to watch, “Blood Diamond” no doubt. Having said that, “The Last King Of Scotland” is a show worth watching … for the acting I would say.

Related Blog and Link: Blood Diamond – Intensity With Great Performance (my blog), Official Site for “Last King Of Scotland”.