Sunday, May 06, 2007

The Last King of Scotland (R)

Here it is, Sunday, again, and I've watched yet another movie. And, was it good! Forest Whitaker was scary as Ugandan dictator Idi Amin.

The story begins with the military coup led by Idi Amin, who considers himself to be the man who defeated the British. He loves Scotland, but hates England. He bestows a lot of other titles on himself, and soon, you see him wearing a uniform weighed down with medals.

James Mcavoy played Dr. Nicholas Garrigan, who was in Uganda on an African Medical Mission. He impresses Amin one day, and soon finds himself installed as the dictator's personal physician.

The new wears off in a hurry for Dr. Garrigan, who discovers almost immediately that his patient is as crazy as a betsybug. After seeing how Amin treats the people he deems his enemies, and, according to his deep paranoia, everyone is his enemy, ("I'm surrounded by traitors", Amin declares in one scene), he begins to rethink his position.

The good doctor decides that it is time for him to go back home to Scotland, but he's in too deep, and Amin won't let him leave. So, he sleeps with one of Amin's wives, gets her pregnant, and that's just the last straw for crazy Idi. The wife is killed, and Dr. Garrigan is hung up by his skin. He escapes, with help, and we last see him on an airplane full of people who have been hijacked and brought to Uganda. They have been freed by Amin, and by the time he finds out that his turncoat doctor is on the plane, it has taken off.

I don't think my telling you this will ruin the movie for you, because the whole point of this movie is to show how mentally disturbed and viscious Idi Amin was. And, in this, the movie is wildly successful.

Forest Whitaker just amazes me. When you see the man on a talk show, he seems very shy, tongue-tied and barely able to make himself understood, but give him a script and he transforms himself completely into the character.

By all means, unless you like your movies all fluffy and feel-good, do see this one.


Cazzie!!! said...

I want to see this now, feel good is a good way to ...feeel!!

Annie said...

Hi Betty,

The name, Idi Amin, has quite a ring to it, doesn't it. Once I heard it all those years ago, I have never forgotten it. And knowing somethings about the unpredictability and madness of the man made his name even more memorable.

I might be interested in seeing this film, which as you know, is saying a lot for me.


Betty said...

Cazzie: NO, no, no, you won't feel good after you watch this movie. Try Mary Poppins.

Annie: Hooray! I found a movie you might like! It was pretty interesting, as I didn't know much about him, either, except that he was viscious.

Tink said...

Wow. I had absolutely no interest in seeing this movie until I read your post. Thanks for the review!

Kell said...

It's on my list. I love Forest Whitaker!

gawilli said...

Ditto Kell on Forest Whitaker - but I don't think I have seen him in a real bad guy role like this one.

Anonymous said...

I am waiting for this film to get to me, thanks for the run down sounds good.

Queen of Dysfunction said...

Idi Amin was just one scary guy. I've been wanting to see this movie since I heard it was being made, you just pushed me over the edge to buy the DVD. Thanks for the review!

Lorna said...

I have to ask.........what is a betsybug? I have never heard that expression before. :-) hugssssss

susan said...

You always give the best reviews. I had not plans to watch may have to..

Betty said...

Lorna, a Betsy-Bug is a beetle with a short horn protruding from the center of its head. It doesn't bite, but it will eat rotting wood as well as its own excrement. I'd call that crazy, wouldn't you?

Additionally, it's an expression I have heard all my life.