Written by Obes (@TheCSPod)
Welcome to Your Favorite Film is Trash, a weekly look at the flaws in some of your favorite movies. This week’s film is: The Last King of Scotland, an interesting film about the rise and fall of Ugandan dictator Idi Amin that was ruined by telling the story of a dumb Scotsman who never actually existed instead. Oh what could’ve been.
Here are 3 reasons why The Last King of Scotland is trash:
1. How is this brand new doctor allowed to become Idi Amin’s personal physician?
When we first meet Nicholas, he’s just graduated from medical school in Scotland and is about to go to Uganda to practice medicine…for some reason. After going to what can only be described as a Trump-sized rally, Nick and his boss’s wife are stopped to help the new president, General Idi Amin, in his time of need. Soon after this, Nicholas is named Amin’s personal physician. There’s a few things wrong with this…
First of all, how did anyone know they were doctors? They came and left without talking to anyone and it’s really not safe to just assume every white person you see in an African country is a doctor.
Second, why Nicholas? Nicholas is, at most 26 years old. I was just 26 last year and was barely trustworthy enough to rent a car by myself, let alone be a president’s doctor. Amin then takes it a step further and puts Nicholas in charge of modernizing the country’s medical program. Fam, nah.
As the son of two African immigrants myself, I’m well aware of the irrational fondness that some Africans have for our pale skinned counterparts but Amin shows us that this affection is not universal. At the first state dinner that he invites Nicholas to, he talks about how Uganda is a black economic power which is something the white attendees didn’t think was possible.
How is it that this guy who clearly has some disdain for his colonial masters would just fall head over heels for this stranger?
2. Why does Nicholas go to Uganda without knowing…anything about the place?
Because Nicholas is an idiot, he turns down his father’s offer to work at his practice in Scotland and goes to Uganda. A Uganda that is in the middle of the military coup that would put Idi Amin in power.
Now I’m aware that this was the 70s and the internet wasn’t even a twinkle in Al Gore’s eye, but there *were* newspapers. Considering the level of meddling the British government does in this film, it stands to reason that countries under their control, like Scotland, would have something written about these events in their respective media. Let’s pretend for a second that they didn’t, though. You mean to tell me that a twice college educated man wouldn’t do any sort of research into the African nation he was leaving his native Scotland to go to?
And it’s not like he doesn’t believe the stereotype of Africa being a scary place either. He and a British government agent talk about how you have to kill or be killed to survive in Africa. (which is not a country, by the way. Stop acting like it is. -Management)
So if he thinks it’s that dangerous, wouldn’t he make sure there’s nothing extraordinarily dangerous happening? Something like, oh I don’t know a military coup?
3. Nicholas doesn’t realize the danger he’s in…somehow
Throughout Nicholas’ time with Idi Amin, the latter produces some strange behavior. He’s increasingly paranoid, violent, and exceptionally incompetent. Does that send off any red flags for Nicholas, though? NOPE. Should Nicholas have been suspicious that things may have been a bit off? Let’s see:
- Amin names him personal physician and then Minister of Medicine despite Nicholas having no qualifications for the latter.
- He has several people killed for an assassination attempt on his life…even though it was never proven these guys actually did it.
- Amin kills his Minister of Medicine simply because Nicholas tells him that he saw the dude talking with a white guy at a bar
The list goes on and on. After the last thing, Nicholas is despondent as he realizes he’s gotten a man killed because of his inability to do simple follow-up. So what does he do? He starts an affair with one of Idi Amin’s wives.
FAM. If he was willing to kill people he didn’t even know or like based off hearsay, what do you think he’ll do to you for getting his wife pregnant? You actually don’t have to wonder, Idi Amin has the wife drawn and quartered and has the baby killed. Shocking, I know. (ed. note: notice that Nicholas’ boss’ white wife won’t cheat on her husband with Nicholas but Idi Amin’s black wife does? Stay woke)
Nicholas gets two great people killed and gets hung from a ceiling by two over-sized fish hooks. Oh you…you didn’t hear about that?
Yea that sucks. If only he could’ve seen it coming.