The Duke (2020) Review

In 1961, Kempton Bunton a 60 year old taxi driver from Newcastle manages to steal Goya’s portrait of the Duke of Wellington from the National Gallery in London, after £140,000 had just been used to buy it!


Kempton Bunton wanted nothing more than to help others and make a difference, he wrote his own plays and longed for them to be on TV, sending them to the different television networks. He also refused to pay for the TV licence and to get around this removes a coil in his TV so he cannot receive the BBC and this was something he wanted to make free for OAPs and war veterans.

His marriage with Dorothy was difficult as he did not manage to keep a job for very long, mainly due to trying to help and please others whilst also being very vocal and standing up for not only himself but others. She works as a cleaner for a well off family and it’s not really something that she seems to enjoy. They have two sons, Jackie who still lives at home and Kenny who currently lives in Leeds, along with a daughter who had died thirteen years earlier.

It has a rather interesting twist in the plot although I am sure anyone who was alive and can actually remember this happening would possibly know this anyway? It certainly made for a lovely surprise with my lack of knowledge of the incident. We do get one of the most hilarious courtroom scenes in film though that’s for sure!

I actually had no idea what the film was about before watching it, so went in rather blind and that was certainly amazing because I thought the film was a true delight. That was mainly due to the outstanding lead performance from Jim Broadbent, who totally nails the Geordie accent in the best way possible. Bringing across the great nature of the north east and some of the ways in which the accent makes certain sayings and moments even more amusing. Helen Mirren’s was good as well, although dropped a little at times. Fionn Whitehead was also impressive and had great chemistry with Broadbent.

Being born and bred in the north east I really do wish we had more films based in and around Newcastle. Having my hometown of South Shields mentioned because of the beach and so many other places within the north east always feels extra special as well.

The Duke really is a true joy of a film and I absolutely loved all of it, having something as feel good is probably one of the toughest things to do on screen but this really does have so many lighthearted moments and I really do urge everyone to give it a watch.

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