The first recollection i have about Idi Amin is from a small book named world famous crazy despots, though i do not remember much of the specifics i still remember the fact that he was a rumoured cannibal. Got a chance to watch documentary director Kevin McDonald’s directorial venture The Last King of Scotland, in which Amin is portrayed by Forest Whitaker in a brilliant light. James Mcavoy shines as Dr. Nicholas Garrigan, a brash and extroverted,wet-behind-the-ears doctor fresh out of college and on the lookout for a bit of an adventure.
The film opens with Garrigan graduating from the Medical College and hsi parents advising him to stay in his own country (Scotland that is…). Garrigan grows frustrated with this shell of comfort and randomly picks out Uganda to travel to and make a living, his initial spell involves coming to terms with the poverty stricken behemoth that is Uganda. A chance encounter brings him close Idi Amin, the newly appointed dictator, he takes to Amin’s charming persona and soon becomes the presidential adviser. The story unfolds slowly as Garrigan comes to terms with the horror that is Idi Amin and his final escape.
Whitaker is brilliant as he switches from emotion to emotion in just seconds. He plays the darling of the media and in a flash switches to a paranoid and then to a patriarchal friend and to a murderous brute…the list of his images is rather an exhaustive one. The slightly gruesome before climax scene and his emotions in the final scene are just jaw dropping. McAvoy is very convincing as the flippant and brash young doctor whose amazement and fun in the initial stages slowly gives way to skepticism,disbelief and finally to horror towards the end.
It really was a very thrilling 123 minutes….