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The King is Dead – Film Review

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by Joy (subscribe)
“Creativity Is Intelligence Having Fun.” – Albert Einstein
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Moving into a new neighbourhood can be both exciting and daunting. Exciting, because you have all these dreams and hopes of having a beautiful house in a lovely neighbourhood where everyone is helpful, affable and hospitable. Daunting, because you do not know what to expect and for all you know the next-door neighbour could be simply barking mad.

But what would you do if your neighbours were neighbours from hell?

The King is Dead is a film based on neighbours, both good neighbours and horrifying neighbours. It is a story of a couple, Max (Science Teacher) and Therese (Tax accountant) who move into a leafy neighbourhood and find themselves flanked by a nice family on one side and "interesting" people on the other side. While the good neighbour fosters a beautiful relationship which spans out to include a magic door in the fence dividing the houses, the "interesting" neighbours turn from interesting to concerning, only to proceed to horrifying and finally insufferable. The neighbours from hell are loud, uncouth and unrelenting in their endeavours to engage in loud music, violent dispositions and drug dealings. Their ringleader is a man named King with two sidekicks Shrek and Escobar, who are equally despicable.

As things spiral out of control and police prove to be useless, Max and Therese decide to take things into their own hands. Driven by desperation and in pursuit of some long-lasting peace and quiet, they plot to make things extremely difficult for King. The plot goes haywire and before they even realise it Max and Therese end up with a corpse on their hands. Hours later as they are still planning on the best mode of disposal of the dead body, the friends of the corpse turn up and as it feels things could not get any worse, it turns out that the corpse has enemies. Enemies, one should never cross path with. What ensues is for me to know and for you to find out in the cinemas.

Review of the movie
One of the many strengths of this film is the unique concept and the unsuspected twists and turns. Another niche point is the acting. Everyone worked diligently in a team to deliver their roles in the most beautiful ways possible. Dan Wyllie as Max and Bojana Novakovic as Therese are highly successful in carrying out the roles of a perfectly nice couple who stick together through thick and thin. The chemistry between them is awe-inspiring and the love and passion they share is very much authentic. Lily Adey who performs the role of Mirabelle is adorable and cheeky, her presence even though ephemeral is delightful. But the star of the show is Gary Waddell (King) himself. King did not have too much dialogue but through silence, short dialogue and deranged looks King stole the show. Performing the role of someone on the verge of paranoia is not easy but Gary Waddell is highly effective in presenting himself as someone worthless, provocative and abominable but who at times can display a soft spot.

What really gives this movie the edge is the sometimes subtle but usually 'ROFL' (rolling on the floor laughing) comedy moments. The entire cinema was ringing with gales of laughter from the audience throughout the entire duration of the movie. The strong, funny dialogue in conjunction with the robust delivery of the lines made this otherwise serious drama highly entertaining. One of the neighbour's efforts at weeding off people, coming for open inspection next door, by using pungent garlic smell is hilarious. Or when one of the neighbours expresses a firm desire to take out King using petrol bomb is a hoot.

The cinematography of the movie is simply striking and the background music is one of the many highlights of the movie. The down-to-earth, strong and convincing performance accompanied by the breathtakingly funny moments make this Australian movie truly enjoyable. Hats off to Rolf De Heer (writer, director and producer), Nils Erik Nielson (producer) and the rest of the crew for giving us this wonderful Australian movie which certainly surpasses all expectations.

This home-grown movie is guaranteed to leave you with a buzz, even after the movie has ended, the credits have rolled out, the background music has stopped playing, even after you have made your way out of the cinema and into your home.

The King is Dead will be in cinemas on Thursday, 12 July 2012. .

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Why? Because it's Australian and it's damn good
When: 12 July 2012
Where: Certain cinemas across Australia
Cost: Varies
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