I now blog over at The Eyre Guide! This blog is an archive of my past posts.

Monday, October 12, 2015

Movie Musical Challenge: The King and I

Posted by Charlene // Tags: , ,
In Movie Musical Challenge, I'm watching all 25 picks for AFI's greatest musicals starting from the bottom.  Number 11 is the 1956 film The King and I starring Deborah Kerr and Yul Brynner.

The King and I seems like the kind of movie I would be all over, so when I finally sat down to watch this, I wondered why I had never watched all of it/had very little memory of the music.  And now that I've seen it, I remember - it's not that great.  Ok, obviously this is my personal opinion, but this kind of story was done much better in 1965 with a little movie called The Sound of Music, so I now understand why I never really got into this film.  The music was mostly unmemorable for me sadly, with the only song that I really love from this show "I Have Dreamed" cut from the film (!!!).  There are iconic moments and songs that appeal, but overall, I found this film to be rather unbelievable and saccharine.

The two leads I loved however.  Deborah Kerr was excellent as the starch but kind Anna, and Yul Brynner was a little too attractive as the King, haha.  I thought they had great chemistry together, which probably accounts a lot for how well-regarded this film is.  While it is unfortunate that so much of the film took place on film sets (seeing something of the real Siam, or Thailand, might have done wonders for this film like it did for The Sound of Music), I did think there were some beautiful shots and sets, and that was enjoyable for me as well.

The King had a lot of children, and I found it funny that so little is seen of them too - I know the focus is on Anna and the King (it's right in the title), but I felt like seeing more of Anna's interactions with them (and not just in ways to get the King to give her a house) would have helped give the story more dimension.  My favorite part of the film was the dance scene between Anna and the King, which is so full of the actor' chemistry, it is a memorable part of the film for good reason.  The whole ending I had a bit of a problem with though.  I guess I just don't understand the King and how difficult it was for him to change his ways.  It was sad to me in a way that the King had so much potential and he just threw it all away.  I could go on about that, but I don't want to reveal too much about the ending in case others have not seen the film!

The King and I is a good film, but I probably would not rank it so high on the list personally.  I wonder if I had grown up with this film, I might have more of a sentimental fondness for it, but as it is I appreciate it mostly for the performance of the leads, and for the fact that it is a well known Rodgers and Hammerstein film.

Note: I am catching up on this challenge so I plan to post four Movie Musical Challenge reviews this week!  For this week, there will be a post every day!

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