Guest / Limited Access /
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 NextSee Our Latest
Current Issue
Subscriber Access Only Reply All
Responses to our December issue via letters, tweets, and Facebook posts.
Current IssueNew & Noteworthy Books
Subscriber Access Only
New & Noteworthy Books
Compiled by Matt Reynolds
TrendingAll 240 Family Christian Stores Are Closing
All 240 Family Christian Stores Are Closing
More than 3,000 employees in 36 states will be laid off in the liquidation of one of the world’s largest Christian retailers.
Editor's PickMy Missionary Great-Grandfather Led Me to Christ
My Missionary Great-Grandfather Led Me to Christ
But only after I went to Japan in search of his life story.
Christianity Today
The King
hide thisAccess The Archives

In the Archives

May 2006

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