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October 12, 2006

The King - 4

It seems obvious that this film is making reference to Elvis Presley - The King. The main character, Elvis Valderez (Gael Garcia Bernal), is a recently discharge from the Navy, and goes in search of his father. His mother has died and he has never met his father, he only know his name. He discovers that his father (William Hurt) is the pastor of a Pentecostal church in Texas (yeah, I thought of The Apostle too- a superior film). He initially is rejected by his father as a mistake from his past. But Elvis is tenacious, and as this process gets more and more sinister, the plot gets predictable. You can check the boxes as the events unfold. And at the end, it is not Elvis and the American Dream that succeed, rather it is the tragedy of failed love. The film starts out rather well, and shows rather than tells the story of Elvis as a loner, but as the film proceeds it takes a turn toward obscurity. Beside that the reference to The King became lost and muddled. I think part of it is a critique of the challenge of culture to Christianity, but that line of thought doesn't continue to the end of the film.

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