The King
Our Rating
2 Stars - Fair
Average Rating
 
(not rated yet)ADD YOURSHelp
Mpaa Rating
R (for strong sexual activity involving a teen, some violence and language)
Genre
Directed By
James Marsh
Run Time
1 hour 45 minutes
Cast
Gael García Bernal, Derek Alvarado, E. Matthew Buckley, Monica Peña
Theatre Release
May 19, 2006 by ThinkFilm

Sometimes, a title that looks pretty simple can, on closer inspection, turn out to be pretty complex, because it lends itself to more than one possible meaning. Does The New World refer to John Smith's discovery of America, or to Pocahontas' discovery of Europe? Does L'Enfant refer to the baby that is sold on the black market, or to the immature guy who put him there? Such titles work because each layer of interpretation has a strong basis in the movie itself. Sometimes, however, a title that may have more than one meaning doesn't work on any of its possible levels. And such, it seems, is the case with The King.

The title may be a reference to Elvis Presley, since the story concerns a recently discharged naval officer named Elvis Valderez (Gael García Bernal)—but the film rarely, if ever, actually mentions the musician. Or it may be a reference to Jesus, since Elvis goes looking for the father he never knew as soon as he leaves the Navy, and he quickly discovers that his father, David Sandlow (William Hurt), is now a born-again Christian and a successful pastor with a family—but again, the film doesn't make much, if any, use of "kingdom" language, nor does it focus on Christ as "king of kings" or anything like that.

Or it may be a reference to how Elvis sees his father, or even himself. Elvis is the son of a prostitute that David once knew, long before David became a Christian, and David, embarrassed that his sinful past has come back to haunt him, turns Elvis away at first. So Elvis, who begins his post-Navy life with a run-down car and a dingy motel room, sets out to worm his way into the family's comfortable middle-class life. Perhaps he sees himself as one who ascends a throne, conquers a dynasty, or ...

Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview

To continue reading, subscribe now. Subscribers have full digital access.

Tags:
Browse All Movie Reviews By:
Read These Next
Current IssueOur July/Aug Issue: The Upside of Disruption
Our July/Aug Issue: The Upside of Disruption
How unwelcome change can lead to a fuller life.
Current IssueHow to Find Hope in the Humanless Economy
How to Find Hope in the Humanless Economy Subscriber Access Only
Robots could take half of our jobs in the next decade. Here’s why Christians have nothing to fear.
TrendingKay Warren: 'We Were in Marital Hell'
Kay Warren: 'We Were in Marital Hell'
Through God's work in our lives, we've beaten the odds that divorce would be the outcome of our ill-advised union.
Editor's PickThe Church's Biggest Challenge in 2017
The Church's Biggest Challenge in 2017
Let’s get unchurched evangelicals back into church, and prejudiced evangelicals back to the Bible.
Christianity Today
The King
hide thisAccess The Archives

In the Archives

May 2006

To continue reading, subscribe now for full print and digital access.