Anna and the King

Film

Period and swashbuckler films

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Time Out says

Fox threw money at this third version of the story of the widowed English governess who in 1862 forms an attachment to the strong willed but reformist king of Siam. It is, however, neither as witty as the 1946 Dunne-Harrison film, nor as lively as the 1956 Rodgers and Hammerstein musical. The logistics of the large Malay production appear to have cramped the light touch director Tennant applied to Ever After. Foster - playing Anna with a passable educated English accent - is a heavy proposition. But coming over like a pastiche of the passionate integrity exhibited by Holly Hunter's Ada in The Piano, Anna's 'feminism' feels anachronistic. She smiles a lot while tutoring the 58 royal darlings, and glows while dancing with the king at a banquet, but it's a limited performance. As King Mongkut, Chow Yun-Fat has the better, lighter measure. But it's dull and over-extended, and scenes of hanging men preclude family viewing.
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Release details

UK release:

1999

Duration:

148 mins

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