Title: The Man Who Would Be King
Country: UK, USA
Genre: Adventure, Action
Director: John Huston
Karroom Ben Bouih
As a Nobel winner for literature, Rudyard Kipling is a controversial figure, by contrast, this film adaption is a featherweight crowd-pleaser, but unfortunately I find it cannot live up to the height of its literary counterpart, and its colonialism smugness festers further, which I personally feel ill at.
Directed by venerable and acclaimed director John Huston, the film starts from a series of exotic South-Asia vistas, then bumps into a rapid hustling with Christopher Plummer as the avatar of the renowned writer himself intermingling with Sean Connery and Michael Caine’s Daniel Dravot and Peachy Carnehan, two British solider resigned from the army and going to try their luck in Kafiristan. Then the cut-back narrative slowly but thoroughly turns into a slapstick daredevils’ wacky adventure into a tribal residence.
The action part is awfully crass, the battle fighting and using rifles to massacre local tribes could never be shoddier, at least they could have hired a team of more professional extras or at least trained them with a little bit more commitment.
Only the props and the settings opaquely convince me it is a big budget film, the mind-blowing blizzard and avalanche are something quite spectacular to watch, but all fail to be foils; The two leads Sean and Michael, both at their prime, delivered a solid bromance which could be the only non-artificial part I could recall.
Colony and religion, are like guns and roses, they never mesh together well, plus the patronizing attitude alone could exasperate its audience especially foreign ones like me to consider the film is a sheer miscarriage (though it had received 4 Oscar nomination with no wins).