Whitaker makes the movie
4 March 2007
May contain spoilers.

I'm going to side with the Academy on this one: Forest Whitaker is brilliant as Idi Amin. In fact, this movie works because of Forest Whitaker. Without him, it would probably be just an average film.

It's the story of a young doctor from Scotland who ends up in Uganda just when Amin is conducting his coup. Soon enough, Dr Garrigan is working for the dictator, as his personal doctor and then closest adviser. The young guy is blind-sided by power. At a certain point, you ask yourself who's more crazy: the doctor or the dictator? While Whitaker is great, McAvoy offers an average, sometimes weak, performance.

The movie is a must just because it shows what kind of a man was Amin and how he made his people suffer. On the downside, the film stays on the surface and offers us no real explanation on how Amin got to lead his country. This fact is not saved by a few footnotes at the end of the movie. Finally, one could say the movie is more about Dr Garrigan's life than Idi Amin's one and the tragedy of the Ugandan people.

Seen in Toronto, at the Fox, on March 3rd, 2007.

81/100 (***)
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