The King

Year: 2005
Production Co: ContentFilm
Director: James Marsh
Writer: James Marsh
Cast: Gale Garcia Bernal, William Hurt, Laura Harring, Pel James
I'd heard this was a thriller, also that it was a drama. It turned out to be partly both.

Elvis (Bernal), a twitchy and slightly scary young man is discharged from the navy at the end of his tour, and drifts into smalltown USA to try and find the father he's never known.

That father turns out to be an evangelical Christian minister David (Hurt), who's straight-laced family is starting to show cracks, especially when this boy shows up threatening to betray a past the father would rather forget.

Elvis hero quickly falls for pretty Malerie, the daughter of the family, embarking on a seamy but oddly innocent affair with her and getting her pregnant. When Paul, the conflicted teenage son of the family sees him leaving the house late at night, he follows to confront him.

A short struggle later and Elvis is floating Paul's body away in a local swamp, continuing his affair with Malerie while the family falls slowly falls apart through Paul's continued disappearance.

Things turn slightly ridiculous as Elvis confesses the crime to Malerie and she still wants to run away with him, and the brutality of the final act leaves the movie on a note of unfinished tension few films manage.

It seems to be another tale of small town mentality and hypocrisy, but the performances are good and the story is intriguing.

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