Customer Reviews for

The Last King of Scotland

Average Rating 4.5
( 9 )
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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Sometimes They Get it Right

    Idi Amin was a brutal tyrant who's almost sociopathic nature gave him a sort of charisma that would enable him to lead a country, all the while tormenting its people. This film, while fictional throughout, captured the personality and brutal unpredictable nature of Amin's run in Uganda. The actors did an amazing job and this movie is a must for any history buff.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Outstanding Only Because of Whitaker

    Although Amin has left the geopolitical landscape a long time ago and his colorful cruelty was forgotten, thanks to the brilliant and gifted actor Forrest Whitaker do we get a glimpse into the very evil character of one of the most evil characters of the 20th Century. Dr. Garrigan, a highly aristocratic and naive neer-do-well, somehow locks his attention on the power, the finesse of Idi Amin's charms without eying the dark underbelly. It caused him his sanity, the love of his life, and a promising physician's career. Along the way, we were treated to many of Amin's sins: torture, mass murder, sadism, and the like which I don't think I have to get into. Oddly enough, to which I didn't know, he liked the Scots. Interesting fact, see, you can learn things from movies!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    How Dictators Rise...and Fall

    THE LAST KING OF SCOTLAND delves into the history of Ugandan leadership in the 1970s with gusto. One of the characters (Sarah, the doctor's wife) wisely observes that the crowds that fill the streets cheering as Idi Amin takes control from Milton Obote had the same reaction for the previous dictator and will have the same for the one who follows Amin. It is that aspect of this very fine film that hits home: the people desperately want to be ruled by a hero who will care for them and they maintain hope that each successive 'hero' will be better. Director Kevin Macdonald bases his 'biography' on the fictionalized novel of the same name by Giles Foden, transformed into a fine screenplay by Jeremy Brock. In order for us to understand the full nature of Idi Amin the story is told through the eyes of a fresh young Scottish physician Nicholas Garrigan (James McAvoy) who leaves his home looking of adventure and settles in Uganda as a mission doctor with Dr. David Merrit (Adam Kotz) and his beautiful wife Sarah (Gillian Anderson). Garrigan learns his role quickly, is attracted to Sarah, but Sarah is wise and turns Garrigan's attention to the rising problem of the overthrow of the Ugandan government by the enigmatic Idi Amin (Forest Whitaker). An incident occurs that draws Garrigan into Amin's favor and much against the advice of Sarah, Garrigan falls under the spell of Amin, becoming his official physician. The two men form a warm bond of friendship and trust and it is through this bond that we see the human aspect of Idi Amin, a man born poor but who has risen to power due much to the connection with the British he loathes. Gradually Garrigan sees the inner workings of Amin's mind, his madness and his ever-increasing brutality as he faces a world as the dictator who will control everything. Garrigan has an unfortunate affair with one of Amin's wives Kay (the very beautiful and gifted Kerry Washington) and as the country is falling under the slaughtering of Amin, Garrigan finally sees his implication in the rule and undergoes the turnabout effects of Amin's brutal strategy. The film ends very quietly with and reenactment of the incident at Entebbe that brought the world's attention to the heinous dictator of Uganda. Forest Whitaker is brilliant as Amin: he has obviously studied the man from newsreels and has been able to go beyond press reports to find the humble man who rose to power. McAvoy embodies the fictional physician and has far more screen time and a more sophisticated role than Whitaker and deserves more praise for this performance than he has received. The entire cast is excellent. For once a film about the violence that erupts too often in Africa pays more attention to characters and the gorgeous landscape of Africa than to fighting and killing: the evidence of Amin's mass murders is shown in photographs and the monstrosity his deeds is carefully focused on one particularly heinous death. The musical score by Alex Heffes uses native songs and rarely calls attention to itself - the mark of a brilliant composer. In the end THE LAST KING OF SCOTLAND serves up a hefty slice of history altered by fiction to enhance the storyline but presents a case for how Amin came to power and the indomitable spirit of the people of Uganda despite the government. A fine film on many levels. Grady Harp

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 1, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    great look at the mind of a dictator

    The movie does a great job of showing the ways people can get sucked into the most terrible of situations with a little economic and political incentive. The good doctor gets sucked into the world of Idi Amin and has a terrifying experience all because he gets sucked into the power/fame vacuum of the charismatic (and very well portrayed by Whitaker!) dictator. It was a very good movie

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 27, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

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