The Last King of Scotland (film)  

From The Art and Popular Culture Encyclopedia

Jump to: navigation, search

Related e

Google
Wikipedia
Wiktionary
Wiki Commons
Wikiquote
Wikisource
YouTube
Shop


Featured:
Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
Enlarge
Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

The Last King of Scotland is a 2006 British fiction drama film based on Giles Foden's novel The Last King of Scotland, adapted by screenwriters Peter Morgan and Jeremy Brock, and directed by Kevin Macdonald. The film was a co-production between companies from the United Kingdom and the United States, including Fox Searchlight Pictures and Film4.

The Last King of Scotland tells the fictional story of Nicholas Garrigan (James McAvoy), a young Scottish doctor who travels to Uganda and becomes the personal physician to president Idi Amin (Forest Whitaker). The film is based on events of Amin's rule and the title comes from a reporter in a press conference who wishes to verify whether Amin declared himself the King of Scotland. Amin was known to adopt fanciful imperial titles for himself.

The Last King of Scotland received wide critical acclaim. Particular focus went to Whitaker, who received outstanding critical acclaim for his performance as Idi Amin in the film. He won Best Actor at the Academy Awards among others, and the film was also a financial success.

Plot

In 1970, Nicholas Garrigan (James McAvoy) graduates from medical school at the University of Edinburgh. With dull prospects at home, he decides to seek adventure abroad by working at a Ugandan missionary clinic run by Dr. David Merrit (Adam Kotz) and his wife, Sarah (Gillian Anderson). Garrigan becomes attracted to Sarah, who enjoys the attention, but refuses to engage in an extramarital affair.

Meanwhile, General Idi Amin (Forest Whitaker) overthrows incumbent president Milton Obote in a coup d'état. Garrigan sincerely believes Amin will help the country, while Sarah warns him of presidents who have taken over before. Garrigan is called to a minor car accident involving Amin where he treats his hand. During the incident Garrigan takes a gun and shoots a mortally wounded cow because no one else has the presence of mind to put it out of its misery. Amin is impressed by his quick action and initiative. Amin, fond of Scotland as a symbol of resilience and admiring the Scottish people for their resistance to the English, is delighted to discover Garrigan's nationality and exchanges his military shirt for Garrigan's Scotland shirt. Later, Amin invites Garrigan to become his personal physician and take charge of modernising the country's health care system.

Garrigan soon becomes Amin's trusted confidant and is relied on for much more than medical care, such as matters of state. Although Garrigan is aware of violence around Kampala, he accepts Amin's explanation that cracking down on the opposition will bring lasting peace to the country. Garrigan discovers that the polygamous leader has ostracised the youngest of his three wives, Kay (Kerry Washington), because she has given birth to an epileptic son, Mackenzie (Apollo Okwenje Omamo). When treating Mackenzie, Garrigan and Kay form a relationship and sleep with each other, but Kay tells him he must find a way to leave Uganda. Eventually, Garrigan begins to lose faith in Amin as he witnesses the increasing paranoia, murders, and xenophobia in expelling South Asians from the country. Amin replaces Garrigan's British passport with a Ugandan one to prevent him from escaping, which leads Garrigan to frantically seek help from Stone (Simon McBurney), the local British Foreign Office representative. Garrigan is told the British will help him leave Uganda if he uses his position to assassinate Amin, but Garrigan refuses.

Kay informs Garrigan that she has become pregnant with his child; aware that Amin will murder her for infidelity if he discovers this, she begs Garrigan for a secret abortion. Delayed by Amin's command that he attend a press conference with Western journalists, Garrigan fails to meet Kay at the appointed time. She concludes she has been abandoned and seeks out a primitive abortion in a nearby village, where she is apprehended by Amin's forces. Garrigan finds her dismembered corpse on an autopsy table and falls retching to his knees, finally confronting the inhumanity of Amin's regime and decides killing him will end it all.

A hijacked aircraft is flown to Entebbe by pro-Palestinian hijackers seeking asylum from agents of international law. Amin, sensing a major publicity opportunity, rushes to the scene, taking Garrigan along. At the airport, one of Amin's bodyguards discovers Garrigan's plot to poison Amin, under the ruse of giving him pills for a headache. His treachery revealed, Garrigan is beaten by Amin's henchmen before Amin himself arrives and discloses he is aware of the relationship with Kay. As punishment, Garrigan's chest is pierced with meat hooks and he is hanged by his skin.

Amin arranges a plane for the release of non-Israeli passengers, and the torturers leave Garrigan unconscious and bleeding on the floor while they relax in another room. Garrigan's medical colleague, Dr. Junju (David Oyelowo), takes advantage of the opportunity to rescue him. He urges Garrigan to tell the world the truth about Amin's regime, asserting that because Garrigan is white the world will believe him. Junju gives Garrigan his own jacket, enabling him to mingle unnoticed with the crowd of freed hostages and board the plane. When the torturers discover Garrigan's absence, Junju is killed for his aid in the escape while the plane departs with Garrigan on board. Amin is informed too late to prevent it, while Garrigan tearfully remembers the people of Uganda.

The epilogue shows real footage of Amin, as well as figures such as the 300,000 that died under his regime, and tells of his eventual 2003 death while in exile in Saudi Arabia.

Cast

See also




Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "The Last King of Scotland (film)" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

Personal tools