The King (2005)
USA / English
"The devil made me do it.
"A troubled man, recently discharged from the Navy, goes to Corpus Christi, Texas, in search of the father he's never met.
Bernal's quiet intensity holds the film together
Hard to recommend, or enjoy, this film due to its unlikable subject
matter; incest, betrayal, hatred, religious fervor, murder, and
isolation are some of the more disturbing themes examined in THE KING.
Yet I did find myself enraptured with it, and that was mainly due to
the performances. Spanish heartthrob Gael Garcia Bernal (Motorcycle
Diaries, Amores Perros) simply captivates as Elvis, a recently
discharged Marine who heads to Texas to reconnect with the father he
never knew. But his father, fundamentalist preacher David Sandow
(William Hurt) has no intentions of welcoming his illegitimate child,
born out of wedlock to a Mexican woman "before he was saved", into his
current family. That's when the cold, calculating Elvis sets his plan
into motion, one that involves seducing his 16-year-old stepsister
(Pell James in a remarkable per-formance),eliminating his bothersome
stepbrother, and eventually bringing the entire family to an untimely
As I said, tough subject matter to like, but the engrossing
performances make the difficult topics easier to digest. Bernal's take
on the sadistic psychopath role is refreshing, as he uses his good
looks, disarming smile and smoldering eyes to convey sympathy that
belies his intentions. Hurt has rarely been better as the preacher who
uses religion to cover his sins; his turnaround with Elvis after his
other son "disappears" is alarming and speaks volumes about his
character's true self. James is magnetic playing the innocent waif who
falls for the conniving trick played by Elvis, and when she learns the
truth her reaction nearly brought me to tears. Even the underdeveloped
role by Laura Herring (Mulholland Drive) as the wife carries weight,
although she was used much too little.
All in all a fascinating look at some difficult subjects that was made
watchable by the actors involved. And while I cannot recommend the
film, it has some attributes that will make it difficult to forget.
|Nr of disks/tapes:||1|
|Storage device:||Divx 4|