|The Last King of Scotland
||[Oct. 17th, 2006|07:19 am]
The Monday night movie this week was The Last King of Scotland, starring Forest Wittaker as Idi Amin in a story based on true events and real people. It is the role for which he will receive an Oscar nod, though perhaps not Oscar himself.
But "based on true events and real people" in this case meant:
1. Idi Amin was a real person
2. Bad things happened in Uganda while he was president.
It appears that Amin never employed a Scottish doctor as his personal physician, and that the intimate view we get of an ambitious, paranoid man becoming a cruel and heartless dictator. Dr. Nicholas Garrigan is our cipher, our view onto that world. Like Ayla in Jean Auel's Earth's Children series (Clan of the Cave Bear, etc.), Nicholas is our Everyman, tangled in the center of Amin's worldview.
And the best part is, he's a flawed cipher. Nicholas is a self-centered, egotistical man who wants to believe he has a moral and noble heart. He parallels Amin in this, and that parallel is fascinating to watch.
I did not learn that Nicholas was essentially fiction until after seeing the movie, and at first I was disappointed by the revelation, but it really does not impact the effect of the movie. Go and see. It's fascinating.