A tense and often unsettling journey

For those unfamiliar with the political situation in Uganda in the early Seventies, you could do far worse than use The Last King Of Scotland as an educational starting point.

Forest Whitaker’s outstanding portrayal of the deeply disturbed brutal dictator Idi Amin sets the pace for what is a tense and often unsettling journey throughout his leadership. Also starring is the former Shameless actor James McAvoy, whose smug self-righteous acting skills are perfectly cast here as the cocky young Scottish medical student Nicholas Garrigan. He is befriended by Amin as he takes the post as his personal doctor, only to quickly find himself embroiled as an advisor to his terrifying regime.

With lavish production that never oversteps the mark, documentary maker Kevin Macdonald, responsible for Touching The Void, makes his directorial feature debut here and effortlessly transcends job descriptions, visually capturing the magnitude of Uganda’s fear without detracting from the actors’ breathtaking performances.

James Heward

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