'King', I think, is a good material for film festivals. We know those festival crowds like films with nice panoramic views of 'exotic' places and the story of a poor third-worldian clawing his way to the top. But I put myself in the place of a child—which is, if I'm not mistaken, the main target of this film—and I feel rather bored by it. Don't misunderstand me. It's a good film, with a heart-wrenching story of a poor boy named after Lim Swie King's Indonesian name, Guntur; if Bayu in 'Garuda' was prevented from playing football, Guntur carried the burden of his namesake and his father's dreams of having a famous badminton-player son. But poverty came in the way: Guntur was defeated time and again because his dad couldn't even afford a proper racket that would not come away when he smashed the shuttlecock with all his might. And then came the news: PB Djarum, again not a made-up institution, the most successful badminton club in Indonesia (unfortunately supported by a tobacco company), would give scholarships to talented young players. But they must come from badminton academies Comedian Mamiek Prakoso showed a jaw-dropping performance as the main character's father, and Ariyo Wahab was truly an eyecandy for us girls. And like I said, the story's good, but if we just erase the character played by Jeremy Thomas's daughter—that little girl who couldn't even speak Indonesian well because her mother chose to send her to an 'international' school and speaks in English to her even at home—and Wulan Guritno (who played the girl's mother), it wouldn't do anything much to the plot. In short, an excess of 'rich, urban' ladies just to sweeten the village setting a bit (which is fine without them, actually). If they disappear in smoke, the film would be more interestingly shorter and not so dragging.
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