Why Royality Never Made Sense In America: Our Review Of ‘The King’

Posted in Movies, Theatrical by - July 15, 2018
Why Royality Never Made Sense In America: Our Review Of ‘The King’

Elvis Presley is a cultural icon. He is a name, a sound, a image that no matter when you were born when you hear that name you know exactly who that is. What he represents to you is a completely other thing entirely.

Eugene Jarecki takes on the task of taking a road trip in Presley’s 1963 Rolls Royce talking with people who knew him personally and only those who know him as a mythic figure. We hear from the son of the music producer who first recorded Elvis to Mike Myers and Alec Baldwin from all sides.

With The King, this film is an exercise in uncertainty. At times I felt it was going to be a tale of the music of Elvis and how it influenced, for better or worse, what came after. Another moment I felt it was a film about his life and all the dark things we may have heard about but never knew for sure, like how he was managed by a man called The Colonel. At another point I felt it may just be us sitting around the camp fire mythologizing the man and completely blowing his life out of proportion. Then somewhere in the middle of all of this confusion we have Elvis’ life story matching up to the Donald Trump election for some bizarre reason.

Jarecki wants us to view The King as a tale of many contentious feelings. It’s how Elvis was influenced by black musicians and made the music hospitable to a white audience that didn’t want hear or see black musicians. It’s how Elvis continually took the road of the more famous rather than just the much beloved hard road of the artistic desires. It was how his life was a rise to fame and a fall in tragedy when he just at the end looked out of sorts and supposedly high on drugs and became a self-parody that we continue to mock in mainstream media constantly. However, I never feel that I truly bought or felt any one of those things completely and this is where this film fails; also adding in the Trump election at the end helped make me even more confused as I didn’t quite get how it tied in without a lot of thematic leaps.

  • Release Date: 7/13/2018
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