The Last King of Scotland is a movie based on the novel with the same name, originally written in 1998 by an English journalist Giles Foden. The story mixes fictional character with real events in Uganda during the realm of the dictatorship of the president General Idi Amin Dada from 1971 to 1979. With extensive research and interesting story-telling, the book won several novel awards. For those who wonder what the meaning of the title of the novel and the film is all about, how Scotland relates to Uganda, here is the answer. In fact, the title of the book is taken from part of Idi Amin‘s self-proclaimed grandiose title as “His Excellency President for Life Field Marshal Al Hadji Dr. Idi Amin, VC, DSO, MC, King of Scotland Lord of All the Beasts of the Earth and Fishes of the Sea and Conqueror of the British Empire in Africa in General and Uganda in Particular.”
The film follows a fictional character of Nicholas Garrigan, a young Scottish doctor who travels to Uganda and works in a small hospital in the rural area. With a twist of fate, Garrigan has a chance to treat the new Ugandan President Idi Amin when he got slightly injured by the accident. Fate plays a fascinating game as the dictator Idi Amin saw an unprecedented action of Garrigan and happens to admire him. Thus, Garrigan has been appointed as the president’s personal physician and advisor. First, everything on the surface seems fine. However, the more Garrigan spends time with Idi Amin and dives deep for the truth, the more corrupted and vicoius he could see of the murderous dictator.
Forest Whitaker portrays the role of Idi Amin perfectly as if he were Idi Amin himself. His performances, especially the facial expressions, are brilliantly superb. It’s no wonder why he won all major movie awards of the year from this role including a Golden Globe award for Best Actor (Drama), a BAFTA for Best Actor, a Screen Actors Guild award for Best Actor (Drama), as well as the Academy Award for Best Actor. The rest of the cast also deliver fine performance.
5 Stars out of 5 – Recommend to all drama lovers. Just a powerful performance of Forest Whitaker is worth a time to watch.