Review of 'The Last King of Scotland'

the_last_king_of_scotland.jpg Nicholas Garrigan (James McAvoy) is a young doctor fresh out of school who randomly picks Uganda for a bit of adventure. He arrives as general Idi Amin (played convincingly by Forrest Whitaker) overthrows the government to become president. Garrigan finds his way to a small village where he helps with the local clinic when Amin visits and charms the young man to serve as his personal physician in the capital. Garrigan very quickly gets sucked into the lavish lifestyle and extravagance of his employer, well isolated from the reality as Amin clamps down on his detractors: Both real and imagined in his increasingly paranoid mind. Garrigan, oblivious to the danger of his situation, makes it even more dangerous as he embarks on an ill-advised affair with one of Amin's wives. When she becomes pregnant things take a desperate turn for the worse…

Though Garrigan is a fictitious character but the story told is very real and seems to be surprisingly even-handed in the treatment of the notorious Amin. Amin's charm certainly comes through in Whitaker's performance but also his darker side as he descends into paranoia questioning even the devoted Garrigan's loyalty.

Convincing and enthralling, The Last King of Scotland is frequently uncomfortable to watch but worth it in the end (even if just to see Whitaker chew up the screen).

Rating: “Nearly perfect, but not quite”

Review Date: 2012-01-23

Directed by: Kevin Macdonald

Studio: Fox Searchlight Pictures

Year: 2006

Length: 117 minutes

Genre: Melodrama