September 28, 2006

The Trailer Park: The Last King of Scotland

The Last King of Scotland was directed by documentary Kevin Macdonald, the BAFTA and Academy Award winning helmer of Touching the Void and One Day in September. This time out, he steps away from the documentary and into the dramatic film by taking us into the story of Dr. Nicholas Garrigan.

The film is about Dr. Garrigan, a doctor from Scotland in Uganda on a medical mission. While in Uganda, he draws the attention of self proclaimed president Idi Amin. Amin was a charismatic man of the people, and there is something about Garrigan that he liked, so Amin makes him his personal physician and the two become close.

Of course, things change. Amin becomes a paranoid, ruthless dictator who called for the mass murder of his own countrymen. As this dawns on Garrigan, he looks to right the wrongs of which he was complicitly involved in. This puts the doctor's life at risk as he tries to do good and escape the clutches of Amin.

The trailer looks very good, and in some ways reminds me of a cross between The Constant Gardener and Hotel Rwanda. A political thriller with strong personal implications as the doctor attempts to come to grips with the escalating danger of the situation around him.

Forrest Whitaker stars as Idi Amin, and his appearance in the trailer makes him look like just the right guy for the role. I see him in the military uniform and hear the accent, and I buy him as the general. The trailer shows a little bit of the charming charismatic man, and the ruthless killer he became. On the other side, James McAvoy (The Chronicles of Narnia) stars as Dr. Garrigan. At first he is a man of high ideals looking to make a difference, but he does not initially see what is going on around him, then it sinks in. McAvoy looks good in the role, a little different than his last outing.

The Last King of Scotland is opening at 4 theaters in New York and LA. The film is rated R and is being released by Fox Searchlight. Also, to help make your decision with your discerning cinematic dollar, be sure to see the trailer and visit the official website.


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