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Australia 2007
Directed by
Matthew Saville
100 minutes
Rated M

Reviewed by
Bernard Hemingway
3.5 stars

King, The (2007)

Director Matthew Saville is a well-experienced television director and this telemovie about the life of Australian television legend, Graham Kennedy, is of above-average quality. The script by Kris Mrksa and Jaime Browne is consistently solid, encompassing the broad strokes of Kennedy’s life without sensationalism or sentimentality.

Portraying well-known personalities is always difficult and one like Kennedy’s, with his very distinctive physical appearance and style of delivery I would imagine would be particularly difficult. In the lead, Stephen Curry wisely chooses not to mimic The King but to play the man rather than his public persona. The result is a rather sombre affair, exacerbated by Saville’s fondness for shooting directly into the light often leaving his characters in heavy shadow. No doubt this was intended to minimize the disparity in appearance between the real life characters and the actors playing them, something which the dodgy make-up and wig-work makes only too clear, but it is a somewhat distracting technique.

Although one can imagine a very different movie being made about the same topic and the film is wanting somewhat in evoking the period, as a drama about the heavy cost of the fame game it is very watchable with Curry giving a convincing performance, both physically and emotionally, as he moves through the stages of Kennedy's life.




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