The King Is Alive
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Stranded in the heat of a barren African desert, eleven bus passengers shelter in the elements of an abandoned town. As rescue grows more remote by the day and anxiety deepens, an idea emerges: why not stage a play? However, the choice of King Lear only manages to plunge this disparate group of travelers into turmoil as they struggle to overcome both nature's wrath and their own mortality. In the heat of the desert, emotional and sexual tensions surge around the play's production, and they are forced to confront their most raw emotions. With all inhibitions stripped away, their… More

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 61%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

":ags in the middle, growing more interesting -- if hardly more original -- only as the situation deteriorates."
‑ Lisa Nesselson, Variety
"It doesn't escape its own ascetic pretensions."
‑ Desson Thomson, Washington Post
"The King is Alive interweaves the madness, the foolhardiness, the greed and the ferocity of human nature that Shakespeare depicted so brilliantly in Lear back in 1606, and shatters us again and again with its insights made refreshed."
‑ Brandon Judell, indieWIRE
"Here is a small masterpiece about the erosion of civilized egos by the elements."
‑ Brandon Judell, Detour Magazine
"About as far from a Shakespearean stage but as close to Shakespearean essence as it can be."
‑ Joshua Tanzer, Offoffoff
"It's all very watchable, thanks to excellent performances all around..."
‑ Geoff Andrew, Time Out
"Pulsing with color and movement in a vast, dune filled landscape, this is a whole new way of using a now familiar bag of tricks."
‑ Lisa Schwarzbaum, Entertainment Weekly
"The endless vistas of sand that surround the forlorn settlement embody the void at the heart of its abandoned, terrified characters."
‑ , Film4
"The real problem is the way the story tries so hard to incorporate Shakespearean themes."
‑ Rich Cline, Film Threat
"An imaginative film that feels ten times more genuine than any ten movies of the "Castaway" variety (or as I like to call it, "The 90 million dollar Fed-Ex Commercial")"
‑ Brian Mckay,
"Levring's film isn't nearly as smart or original as he seems to think it is."
‑ Ernest Hardy, L.A. Weekly
"The King Is Alive intrigues mainly for its spare style and brittle, sweat-soaked performances."
‑ Rene Rodriguez, Miami Herald
"I spent much of the movie marvelling about how the form and style of the Dogme film fit perfectly into the story, and how none of the players seemed like they were pretending, even when they were being theatrical."
‑ Jason Gorber, Film Scouts
"Even for a Dogma 95 movie, this one is unusual because it features a remote, exotic setting and a Shakepearean subtext."
‑ Dan Lybarger, Nitrate Online
"Somebody should really plop these guys down in front of an old Rodgers & Hammerstein spectacle."
‑ Kimberley Jones, Austin Chronicle
More reviews for The King Is Alive on Rotten Tomatoes