Archive for the ‘Kings and Queen’ Category

Kings and Queen – review – Film Comment #17

#17 – Kings and Queen – Arnaud Desplechin – 2005


“Kings and Queen” (“Rois et reine”), is a film that is sectioned off in to two parts, and within those two parts are two separate stories. One tells the story of a woman who is caring for her ailing father, and also taking care of her son who’s father passed away before he was born. The other is a story of a musician, Ismael, played by Mathieu Amalric the bad dude from “Quantum of Solace”. He is committed against his will to a psych ward “accidentally”. His story was the best and it was well acted as this kind of crazy music savant that seduces the crazies in the ward, and the nurses. He kind of reminded me of Jack Nicholson from “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” meets, Sam Rockwell’s sex-addicted character in “Choke”, highly entertaining.

The first part of the film is the exposition of the film laying the groundwork for who these people are. It’s not until the second half of the film that we understand how their lives intersect. We also learn a lot of things about why their lives intersect in the end.

“Kings and Queen” is a film about perception. We are given the story of two people from the beginning. We know the status of their lives, but do we actually really know them? We are actually informed by them of their status, but perception is not always the truth. We believe they have been unfairly thrown into their situations, but the truth isn’t always what we see on the surface. It is a film about those demons that wait underneath the surface.

It is an entertaining film, and a thought-provoking film. It is also an extremely long film (clipping in at about 2 1/2 hours), and while I do appreciate that the film is cut in to two halves, because that really did work for the film, it could have been shortened down in some parts. Some of the scenes between the daughter and her father tended to go on to long, and I really was wishing we would just get back over to the psych ward story. That being said, it is a very well-done and engaging film. I’m betting their are probably some better films on this list though that one should check out first.

Grade: B-