Director: Walter Lang
Original Release: 1956
My Overall Rating: 3 stars out of 5
Now let's set all of that aside for a moment. The King and I is an extraordinary visual spectacle, winning well-deserved Oscars for both art direction and costume design. The movie often feels like a grand theater production with a stage about four times the normal size. The songs, written by the great team of Rogers and Hammerstein, are classics, especially "Getting to Know You" and "Shall We Dance?" It is the film that made Yul Brynner's career. The actor played the role of The King of Siam on both stage and screen, ultimately winning two Tonys and an Academy Award for the part.
None of us had ever watched The King and I before this weekend. While there's a lot to get past in terms of the Orientalism, one can't deny the film dazzles the senses. The dialogue is often genuinely funny. I think our daughter enjoyed it the most of the three of us. On the most basic level, it's fun. But if you're looking for an accurate or respectful portrayal of Thai culture, you won't find it here.