Deniz Gamze Ergüven’s debut Mustang was a rather poignant, ethereal wonder of a movie. The 2015 Foreign Language Oscar nominee detailed five sisters' coming of age, mixing moments of splendor with instances of social strife that kept the girls locked in an invisible cage. It's the sort of first film that makes you excited to check out anything the director has to offer in the future, as it's marked by a signature style and an impressiveattention to character detail.
Now, Ergüven is back with Kings, which seemingly continues her fascination with family amidst a time of great social upheaval. Only instead of a gaggle of girls, Kings follows a South Central unit (headed by a single mother played by Halle Berry) who live next door to a cranky James Bond (Daniel Craig). Once the '92 L.A. riots commence (triggered by the acquittal of the LAPD officers who brutalized Rodney King), the lonely white guy with the funny accent and the black family band together to try and survive amidst the chaos. I think.
You tell me how this trailer strikes you:
On one hand, I love the idea of setting an intimate melodrama inside this tumultuous period of American history. On the other, there's something just kind of tone deaf about the entire clip, which makes me somewhat cautious about getting my hopes up. Knowing how good Ergüven is behind the camera (not to mention as a writer, as she scripted Kings, as well), I'm willing to give the artist the benefit of the doubt, and just chalk this up to an oddly cut spot.
Kings played to decent reviews out of TIFF, and hits theaters April 27th from The Orchard.