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The White King DVD Review

White King

“The White King” goes nowhere.

Based on the novel by Gyorgy Dragoman, “The White King” is a dystopian sci-fi drama set in an area known as the Homeland which is cut off from the rest of the world and ruled by a tyrannical Government. The story revolves around a family comprised of Peter (the father), Hannah (the mother) and Djata (the son) who are broken apart after the father is sent to a prison camp. The majority of the film deals with Djata and Hannah trying to cope without Peter while also trying to find him. There are a few subplots about bullies, treasure, and Djata’s grandparents as well.

When it comes to cinema, I’m a huge fan of world building stories. Whether it be a grand space opera like “Star Wars” or something technological like “Tron,” I love watching a new world develop before your very eyes. With “The White King,” you see traces of a potentially fascinating dark and disturbing dystopian world, but unfortunately co-writers and co-directors Alex Helfrecht and Jorg Tittel don’t do anything with the material.

“The White King” is the type of frustrating film that doesn’t do enough with its premise. The set up for the world the characters inhabit is vague, the Homeland society is vague, the reasons behind why Peter is imprisoned are essentially non-existant, the reasons as to why the Homeland is cut off from the rest of the world aren’t there, etc. You don’t get any answers here. In fact, you don’t get much of anything as the story doesn’t go anywhere. It’s uneventful, there is no real middle act and the film lacks a proper conclusion. It starts, sets up what happens and just flounders for an hour and a half. It’s a poorly realized story that tries to be artful.

The cast doesn’t do much to help matters either. Veteran actors Jonathan Pryce and Fiona Shaw are the clear highlights here, but their roles are limited. Lorenzo Allchurch (who plays the main character Djata) is out of his league here. The movie rides on his shoulders and he’s just not able to carry it. A major miscast to be sure.


Presentation: 2.35:1. How does it look? Since Rene Richter’s cinematography is far and away the best part of the film, I’m happy to report the DVD transfer does the film’s visuals justice.

Audio Track: 5.1 Surround. How does it sound? The 5.1 track does the job.

Extras: Film Movement trailers, “The White King trailer, 4 minutes of cast and director interviews and a behind the scenes featurette which contains film clips, interviews, film discussions, and more.

December 12, 2017 - Posted by | DVD review | , ,

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