My wife didn't think I would want to see it, so when I showed her the tickets to it last Saturday night she was excited and VERY surprised.
I am very impressed with the outcome of this movie. After we came back from seeing the movie, we were telling some of our friends about it, and they told us that they had heard that it was slow and hard to get into. If you go to see this movie expecting to see an action-packed thriller, you will be disappointed. It is very much a drama, but has indeed some very intense sequences that keep you on the edge of your seat. ALSO, do not compare heavily this movie to the musical "The King and I." Although women of all ages will agree that this is a great movie, men might full-heartedly say that it TRULY IS a good "chick flick."
The characters and the main jist of this story and "The King and I" is the same. Anna Leonowens, (Jodi Foster) gives an Oscar- winning performance as a widowed school teacher who takes up the challenge of coming to Siam to teach the King's children the ways of the western world, especially English.
They get off to a very rocky start as Anna is having a rough time adjusting to the culture and atmosphere. Her son Louis (Tom Felton) on the other hand is enjoying pretty much every minute and begins to adjust immediately.
The King (Chow Yun-Fat) is like most kings of the world--very stubborn and set in his ways. But Anna throughout the movie, stubborn and set in her ways, can't fully grasp and understand some of the traditions of the Siamese. She tries her best to help the king see the rights and wrongs of certain human principles, even desperately at times. But "I am King!..." the king replies at often times.
The directing of Andy Tennant was perfect. The flow of the movie went almost perfectly in sync with what I understand was the actual diary of Anna Leonowens. There wasn't a moment in the film during all 2 hours and 40 minutes worth that I stopped to check my watch. It was very late at night, and my inner clock would usually tell me that during about halfway through the movie.
The cinematography was something Steven Spielberg even commented on enjoying, (read in recent reviews). A definate plus in anyones ratings. Caleb Deschanel did a superb job. I have always been big on cinematography and pictures, but that isn't enough to make a great film. Angles, views, and scenery make or brake the movies. But without the good storyline it will only leave questions and cause you to wonder.
The musical score was incredible as well, the theme itself, as many of you have heard I'm sure, I thought was something John Williams would have written and conducted. I'm not sure who the credit goes to, but it was very well written.
All in all, the movie leaves you with a warm smile. It has intensity, it makes you laugh, it makes you cry, (yes, cry...my wife didn't notice though), and it makes you walk out feeling that your money was well spent. The beginning and ending was anything but dull. The flow of the movie was something worth applauding at the end.
Nothing was in the movie I objected to. There was no uncomfortable scenes. It was done perfectly...it hinted what was going to happen, then moved on with the movie. That is how it should be done. There is no need to go into detail.
For these reasons and for the warm fuzzy feeling at the end that makes you think, "Gee, why can't there be more movies like this?"...I give it FIVE STARS.