Farewell to the King

Set in WWII this film takes us inside the life of two soldiers, at very different places on the path of war, who must work together to reach their goals. Captain Fairbourne (Nigel Havers – The Life and Death of Peter Sellers) is a British officer who still believes he is doing right by his country by fighting the good fight. His main obstacle comes in the form of American expatriate Learoyd (Nick Nolte – 48 hrs, Hotel Rwanda) who has become disillusioned with the very nature of war.

Lost on the island of Borneo, Learoyd is rescued and nursed back to health by the women of a local tribe. As he grows stronger and more powerful, he begins to assert his place amongst the tribe. Soon he becomes king, ruling as a peer and molding the society into a utopia. When Capt. Fairbourne discovers the civilization that has developed, he is quick to report this information back to his superiors. The consequences of his actions spur a series of events that will alter their lives forever.

Written and directed by the same man who co-wrote the screenplay for Apocalypse Now, it is hard not to draw comparisons. How does one make a war film that could aspire to be its equal? Similarly to Apocalypse Now, this film shows the human side of a very bloody battle. It also gives an interesting perspective in to the effect of following protocol, and how it causes war to steam ahead like a freight train. The acting was over the top (I'm talking to you Nick Nolte!), and the idea of an American showing up in a foreign land and ruling as their king was a tough pill to swallow. All in all it was an interesting concept with a somewhat tiresome follow through. Unfortunately, this DVD offers no special features.

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