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This is the story of Anna Leonowens, the English schoolteacher who came to Siam in the 1860s to teach the children of King Mongkut. She becomes involved in his affairs, from the tragic plight of a young concubine to trying to forge an alliance with Britain to a war with Burma that is orchestrated by Britain. In the meantime, a subtle romance develops between them. Written by
At first, it seemed that the film would be made on location in Thailand, but even after script revisions had been made, negotiations between the production company and the Thai government failed. They could not reach an agreement about the script's final content, and the production was subsequently denied permission to film in Thailand. The Thai authorities maintained that there were still too many historical inaccuracies for it to be acceptable, and it was filmed in neighboring Malaysia instead. See more »
Upon introducing his queens and concubines to Anna, Mongkut states that his concubines are not as numerous as those of the Emperor of China. The Chinese emperor in 1862, the Tongzhi Emperor, was only six years old at the time and unmarried. Even after marriage, he had 5 consorts- significantly less than Mongkut's 23 wives and 42 concubines. See more »
She was the first English woman I had ever met. And it seemed to me she knew more about the world than anyone. But it was a world Siam was afraid would consume them. The monsoon winds had whispered her arrival like a coming storm. Some welcomed the rain, but others feared a raging flood. Still she came, unaware of the suspicion that preceded her. But it wasn't until years later, that I began to appreciate how brave she was, and how alone she must have felt. An English woman. The ...
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My overall experience with this film was very good. I felt the detail to costumes and set design was exceptional; we were really transported to Siam in the 1860's. And the acting was excellent, especially Chow Yin Fat, although I felt the relationship between Jodie Foster and Chow Yin Fat was not completely believable. Perhaps, this is because I could not push far from my mind the thought that this is only another movie loosely based on the memoirs by Anna Lenowens. But, this is probably the most realistic of them all. I'd give it 8/10.
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