King's Game Review

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Political spin and intrigue runs rife at the highest levels of Danish politics


Echoes of American political dramas from Advise And Consent to The Contender reverberate around this satisfying adaptation of Niels Krause-Kjaers's insider novel. Shot and performed in the shadiest film noir manner, Nikolaj Arcel's directorial debut will doubtless intrigue those who despair of the spin and cronyism that grips global politics. But, there's something too neat about the conspiratorial way in which ultra-conservative chauvinist Soren Pilmark exploits the election-eve car crash that brings about a leadership showdown with green liberal, Nastja Arcel. Moreover, there's little to distinguish Anders W. Berthelsen from countless other maverick movie journalists – even though his crusading zeal comes from a late realisation that his privileged upbringing has resulted in his being used as a patsy. Solidly entertaining, but lacking in intellectual clout.

Slick and undeniably satisfying conspiracy thriller, but suspicions about the manipulative neatness of the storyline gnaw away at its credibility and prevent it from making anything but superficial political and intellectual points.