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The Last King of Scotland [DVD] [2006]

4.2 out of 5 stars 152 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Actors: Forest Whitaker, James McAvoy, Kerry Washington, Gillian Anderson, Simon McBurney
  • Directors: Kevin Macdonald
  • Producers: Lisa Bryer, Andrea Calderwood, Christine Ruppert, Charles Steel
  • Format: PAL, Widescreen, Dolby, Digital Sound, Subtitled
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English
  • Subtitles For The Hearing Impaired: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 15
  • Studio: Twentieth Century Fox
  • DVD Release Date: 14 May 2007
  • Run Time: 117 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (152 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000NQRW52
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 6,582 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Product Description

Product Description

Oscar-winning drama starring Forest Whitaker. When a naive young Scottish doctor, Nicholas Garrigan (James McAvoy), arrives in 1970s Uganda hoping for fun, sun and to lend a helping hand, he finds himself instead on a shocking ride into the darkest realm on earth. Befriended by the charismatic new leader, Idi Amin (Whitaker), and appointed as his personal physician, Nicholas is originally blinded by his larger-than-life and charming persona. But when the terrible truth of his despotic rule is revealed, he must fight for both his life and soul against one of the cruelest leaders in history.

From Amazon.co.uk

As the evil Ugandan dictator Idi Amin, Forest Whitaker gives an unforgettable performance in The Last King of Scotland. Powerfully illustrating the terrible truth that absolute power corrupts absolutely, this fictionalised chronicle of Amin's rise and fall is based on the acclaimed novel by Giles Foden, in which Amin's despotic reign of terror is viewed through the eyes of Nicholas Garrigan (James McAvoy), a Scottish doctor who arrives in Uganda in the early 1970s to serve as Amin's personal physician. His outsider's perspective causes him to be initially impressed by Amin's calculated rise to power, but as the story progresses--and as Whitaker's award-worthy performance grows increasingly monstrous--The Last King of Scotland turns into a pointed examination of how independent Uganda (a British colony until 1962) became a breeding ground for Amin's genocidal tyranny. As Whitaker plays him, Amin is both seductive and horribly destructive--sometimes in the same breath--and McAvoy effectively conveys the tragic cost of his character's naiveté, which grows increasingly prone to exploitation. As directed by Kevin Macdonald (who made the riveting semi-documentary Touching the Void), this potent cautionary tale my prompt some viewers to check out Barbet Schroeder's equally revealing documentary General Idi Amin Dada, an essential source for much of this film's authentic detail. --Jeff Shannon

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
Set in 1970, this film follows the adventures of newly-qualified doctor Nicholas Garrigan (played by James McAvoy) as he seeks something racier than following his father into the family practice. More or less at random he picks work as an overseas medical officer in Uganda. On the bus into the country he declares, on sighting his first monkey, "if we had monkeys in Scotland we'd probably deep-fry them" before breaking his journey to make jiggy-jiggy with the first local girl he speaks to.
Upon arrival at the mission hospital - a day late - he soon finds that the heavy clinical workload is both emotionally overwhelming and not to his taste. A chance meeting with newly-installed president Idi Amin (Forest Whitaker) leads to an offer he can hardly refuse to become the president's personal physician. However he soon finds that he is in over his head and has to turn for help to the bourgeois types in the British establishment that he had come to Africa to avoid.
James McAvoy's character is a thrill-seeking charmer who smokes, drinks and services his libido with as many attractive women as he can. Both he and Idi Amin see something of themselves in each others eyes, though Idi Amin wins hands down in the psychopathy stakes. Forest Whitaker plays the fickle egotist brilliantly and avoids the pantomime psycho act in favour of a more believable and even sympathetic character - the film shows that he's not just being paranoid, they really are out to get him!
On the down side, Dr Garrigan at times felt like a gap-yearing member of the ipod generation who had been time-warped into a Graham Greene story. Would a young doctor in 1970 be so naive and reckless?
This film has great scenery and characters and accurately depicts the clothes, buildings and vehicles of the time and place it is set. Well worth seeing more than once.
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Format: DVD
James McAvoy plays Dr. Nicholas Garrigan, who is fresh out of medical college in the 1970s. Nicholas thoroughly dreads following in his dour father's footsteps, a life to be spent working in a Scottish general practice. Driven by the urge to get away, he spins a globe and randomly stabs a finger, which lands on the sub-Saharan country of Uganda.

There Nicholas meets the newly self-installed president of the country, General Idi Amin. During a meeting between the two, where Nicholas treats an injury picked up by Amin during an accident, the dictator finds out that Nicholas is Scottish. Prompted by his love of all things Highland, Amin sweeps the young and impressionable Scot into the inner circle of his government before Nicholas has time to consider the danger signs.

Gillian Anderson, who lays on a near fautless British accent not for the only time in her career, is sadly underused to the point of irrelevance. Playing a veteran health worker who has seen the likes of Amin before, she tries to warn Nicholas of the dangers of getting swept along by the dictator's charisma, but to no avail.

Forest Whitaker's performance as Amin is stellar. A kind of black Josef Stalin, he dominates every scene he's in, his moods swinging with paranoid sharpness and his trust shattering at so much as a perceived funny look from an underling.

Viewers should know that there are two extremely unpleasant scenes at the end of the film. These come as even more of a shock after Nicholas has spent so much of the story revelling in the Ugandan high-life, only becoming aware of his patron's evil excesses once they reach their worst depths.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
If after watching a movie one feels lonesome and a longing to see it again , that is one way of recognising a masterpiece. That is not the only reason why 'The Last King of Scotland' is one: it is an absolutely flawless piece of filmmaking from the first reel to the last and an experience that has the capacity to stay in one's memories long after the end credits rollout.

The director, Kevin MacDonald brings his skills as an award winning documentary maker to the film with great penchant and handles the quite tricky subject matter delicately, humorously and, more importantly, impartially, and delivers a story that could have easily become unpalatable and unpleasant in the hands of a tactless director. A portrayal of the life and times of a brutal dictator like Idi Amin is not as easy as it may seem. He was atrocious, brutally menacing and was obnoxious to even those who were closest to him. If he had any charisma to speak of, that was attributable to his intimidating presence rather than to any amiability. Forest Whitaker's stupendous and award winning portrayal of Amin therefore is central to the success of this film, simply because he brings in his captivating charisma to the role and, being the great actor he is, effortlessly blends in the menace that the brutal dictator used to control his hapless subjects with. The result is that, whenever the character appears, he overwhelmingly commands from the viewer affection and revulsion in equal measure, and in that order, and, in doing so, inescapably renders Amin more affable than he actually was to his defenceless subjects.
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