directed by James Marsh
USA 2005


From the writer of “Monster’s Ball”, “The King” is a curious blend of Greek tragedy and southern gothic, telling the story of Elvis (Gael Garcia Bernal) going to Corpus Christi, Texas, in search of his father (William Hurt), now a pastor and family father.

On the surface, “The King” suggests its motifs quiet openly, thru its title and the ambiguity of it thru Elvis, the king of rock’n’roll, Christ, the king of kings, and the nature of the pastor, the king of his castle, which as the story progresses for my taste is a bit too smart and without enough substance. The entire Christian motif of sin, here not only the sins of the father, but sin in general, especially killing and incest, are not real attached to the narrative. The Christian reading further becomes sidetracked by the almost isolated subplot of the sons attempt to get biblical creation theory taught aside Darwinism. It lacks a centre of singular Christian motif by which to hold all the single elements up against.

To ignore attempts to colour motifs with religion, allows one a far more enriching viewing of the story. Doing so, the characters become abstractions, where the pastor has build a kingdom around him based on purity again based on ignorance, which is invaded by the impurity of his past, in form of Elvis, who will do anything to be accepted.

What drives “The King” is the dynamic created by the definition of the characters portrayed by Bernal and Hurt. Bernal is without any moral centre, acting solely out of his desire to gain acceptance, which gives him a innocence quality thru which his actions become ambiguous. Hurt is a moral centre, strong and dogmatic, his actions always based upon his law, then God’s law. While both are above the law, Elvis being an outsider, the pastor dictating the law, everyone else float back and forth between the two extremes of morality, which one can say is human nature.

Henrik Sylow


Theatrical Release: May 15, 2005 (Cannes Film Festival)

Reviews    More Reviews  DVD Reviews

DVD Review: Tartan - Region 2 - PAL

Big thanks to Henrik Sylow for the Review!

DVD Box Cover

CLICK to order from:



Region 2 - PAL

Runtime 1:39:13 (4% PAL speedup)

2.32:1 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 7.67 mb/s
PAL 720x576 25.00 f/s

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.


Audio 2.0 Dolby Digital English, 5.1 Dolby Digital English, DTS English
Subtitles No Subtitles
Features Release Information:
Studio: Tartan

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 2.32:1

Edition Details:
• Audio Commentary by James Marsh and Milo Addica
• Deleted Scenes (6:59)
• Rehearsal Footage (2:52)
• James Marsh interview (17:59)
• Milo Addica interview (16:14)
• Original Theatrical Trailer (2:07)

DVD Release Date: September 25, 2006
Keep Case

Chapters 16



Comments While details and colours are strong, there is a bit too much contrast and minute compression artefacts, especially edge enhancements.

The sound is your standard three choices Tartan, of which the DTS is the best, as it adds more depth to the sound stage, than the 5.1.

The additional material begins with a rather chatty scene-by-scene commentary by director Marsh and producer / writer Addica, which goes from thematic discussion of a scene to rather lose chat. While informative, it lacks zeal and strength.

Followed by a brief rehearsal scene and a few deleted scenes, Tartan has added interviews with Marsh and Addica, where they go into more specifics than on the commentary.

 - Henrik Sylow



DVD Menus



Screen Captures

captures resized from 1024px to 800px
















DVD Box Cover

CLICK to order from:



Region 2 - PAL



Hit Counter












DONATIONS Keep DVDBeaver alive:

Mail cheques, money orders, cash to:    or CLICK PayPal logo to donate!

Gary Tooze

Thank You!