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Archive for January 17th, 2007

The Last King of Scotland

What an interesting film this is.    It is about newly qualified Scottish doctor Nicholas Garrigan who goes off to Uganda to do good work at a missionary, and who through a set of extraordinary circumstances, finds himself appointed personal physician to Idi Amin.    

James McAvoy as the Doctor and Forest Whitaker as Amin are both brilliantly cast and  give monumental performances.     I also liked Simon McBurney’s (of Theatre de Complicite fame) small role as Nigel Stone from the British High Commission.   

The film is well made, with an eye for detail.   It has sex, nudity and violence, but it is all appropriate and well handled.     Based on a book, once the film is over, it begs more questions about the whole situation in Uganda, and of course whether there was a Scottish doctor looking after Amin.

The film naturally focusses on the Doctor and Amin, and although voilent and explicit in parts, I felt that the plight of the Ugandans as Amin’s regime took hold was not explored as it might have been.   Having got the central character close to Amin, more could have been made of his position – his growing realisation of just what was happening to the country, and his relationship with the British there.   It was touched on, but too briefly.     Not sure that the Scottish/English problem would have been so acute given the circumstances.

But very entertaining, and well made.    Well worth seeing for the central performances alone.

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