The Last King of Scotland

{sidebar id=15}The first
feature film of Scottish director Kevin MacDonald focuses on the figure of Idi
Amin
, army officer and president of Uganda between 1971 and 1979. But rather
than being a biopic of the atrocities and actions of the dictator, the film shows
the relationship between Amin, played by Forest Whitaker, and the fictional
character of his personal physician, Nicholas Garrigan (James McAvoy). It is this
relationship what creates a consistent story and takes a glimpse at Amin’s
brutal regime.

The viewer
discovers the character of Idi Amin through Dr Garrigan’s eyes, whose vision of
his friend and leader drifts from sympathy to fear. And so the mood of the film
varies. Considering the subject matter, there is much comedy. The funny first
part of the movie precedes the uncomfortable course of events.

Much has
been talked about Whitaker’s performance, including an Academy Award. But
indeed, his performance is impressive. He steals the show, even though the
screenplay seems to appoint the physician as the main role in the film.
Whitaker recreates the complex psychology of Idi Amin and presents the leader’s
paranoia and egomania.

The Last
King of Scotland
lives up to the hype with a solid narrative and its focus on
people and its relations, putting aside easy clichés.