Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Last King of Scotland

Kevin Macdonald | 2006 | 123 min | UK

I don't understand. I really don't. Why did the compelling story of a Ugandan dictator need to be placed within a white European framework? Why do we have to follow the main character of a young Scottish doctor who is mad at his dad? Why am I supposed to care about him when the implied "B" story is genocide? The Scot is ably played by James McAvoy, but unfortunately the character is careless, selfish, + not terribly interesting. Oh, and completely fictional. So frustrating. If a film purports to be a historical drama it shouldn't need several screens of text at the film's end to actually explain the historical portion. The film is far more concerned with the Scot's partying, seduction of married women, + eventual vague unease at what may be happening to the country. Last King also chooses to close with the same eye-roller used by The Constant Gardener: slow motion black child waving + smiling at the camera. Blech.

Forest Whitaker does a fantastic job as Idi Amin. This film should have been made by someone other than Kevin Macdonald.

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