King’s Game

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Movie Review by Ania Kalinowska

Starring: Anders W Berthelsen, Soren Pilmark, Nastja Arcel, Nicolas Bro
Director: Nikolaj Arcel

What discipline is more ruthless than politics? It’s a universal, topical subject, which makes for the hidden agendas of the people running our countries always worthy of movie time. The role of political thrillers as a film genre fuels speculation into what our governments, media and the powerhouses behind them are capable of; all the more interesting because of their roots in authentic historical events. Conspiracy or not, the stories spun for this purpose are guaranteed to be a riot.

Another fantastic addition to the genre is this sober Danish film about the political particulars of a corrupt parliament. A central party finds itself in turmoil after its presidential candidate is fatally hurt in a car crash days before the election. Accident or murder? Is there a puppet show going on here? Who are the puppets and who pulls their strings? The tracks are well-covered but a rat stinks and this one must be found by a hunter determined enough to bring down the entire rat cage.

Where there is foul play, the media are sure to be close by (if they are not part of the act!). Whether this time round the journalists at stake will end up as mouthpieces of the system or defy the odds and risk all for their ethical beliefs is hardly as noteworthy as their quest to discover what they think is the truth.

KING’S GAME is a finely scripted movie, acted and directed with skilful ambition. The ordinary and almost subdued tones (present in everything from story to photography) create the quiet atmosphere that makes this so much more tense – and intense – than your average conspiracy thriller. Nothing is really over-the-top; the implications are believable and as chilling as if this were real life. Great for intelligent viewing!

To appreciate this film you’d have to be in a serious, contemplative mood. So if you’re thirsting for thought-stirring but level headed Danish drama, this is a fitting choice!

5 out of 6 stars