My King (or Mon Roi)

Rated: Not Rated

        There are an infinite number of metaphors one can use when describing relationships and love. “It was a whirlwind romance.” “True love is like a good pair of socks, it takes two, and they’ve gotta match.” “Love is a spice with many tastes-a dizzying array of textures and moments.” “You lose your love when you say the word "mine."” “Love is a lemon – either bitter or sweet” “Love is fire, if it once goes out, it is hard to rekindle.” While metaphors can be useful in describing the indescribable, unquantifiable things that are relationships and love, they cannot truly explain the deeply complex nature of these emotional personal interconnections. (Metaphors taken from and and
        As with metaphors, films often try to accurately describe love and relationships. Besides the obvious challenges of putting such abstract ideas into someone else’s words (that of the character’s), there is the added challenge of keeping the story a manageable length of two or so hours. Cowriters Etienne Comar and Maïwenn have attempted this difficult feat with the recent film
My King or Mon Roi.
        The film follows Tony, a woman who’s just been in a terrible skiing accident and severely hurt her knee. During her down time in a physical rehab facility she’s been sent to to recuperate and heal, she contemplates the ups and downs of her relationship with Georgio. It turns out that it’s not just her knee that needs healing and recuperation, but also her heart.
Vincent Cassel and Emmanuelle Bercot Star in My King (Photo courtesy of Filmmovement)

Vincent Cassel and Emmanuelle Bercot Star in My King (Photo courtesy of Filmmovement)

         Georgio is one of those men who is charming and funny at first, only to let his true colors shine through once Tony has fallen for him. He’s the epitome of kindness, tenderness and generosity at the start, hiding his true self from her. As time goes on it is revealed that he is a psychologically abusive drug using, heavy drinking, womanizing type of man, yet because Tony is so deeply in love with him, she stays with him far longer than she should.
        Vincent Cassel’s performance as Georgio is lofty and splendid. He takes a character that could easily come off as two dimensional and nothing more than a jerk, and adds such depth and intricacy that even when you’re supposed to hate the character, you can’t. Cassel has proven time and again that he is versatile, and has played characters from the most serious, to the downright silly, and everything in between. The character Georgio though may be the first to be all of them in one, and I don’t think there’s an actor alive who could’ve played the role with more perfection than Cassel did.
        Emmanuelle Bercot’s portrayal of Tony, while mostly good, was a bit over the top at times. She seemed to laugh hysterically at things that only deserved a chuckle at best, which made Tony a bit obnoxious to me. That aside though, when Tony and Georgio’s relationship becomes strained, Bercot’s performance is redeemed. Tony’s determination to see Georgio the way she wants him, and not the way he actually is, couldn’t be more authentic. Her confusion and bewilderment are apparent during the times when her rose colored glasses are lifted and she sees Georgio for who he really is. Bercot plays a woman who’s been betrayed, hurt and abused for years in the most exquisite and skillful way possible. She adds a quiet grace to a character whose self-respect seems to be lacking in the name of love.
Vincent Cassel pours his heart out to Emmanuelle Bercot in My King (Photo courtesy of Filmmovement)

Vincent Cassel pours his heart out to Emmanuelle Bercot in My King (Photo courtesy of Filmmovement)

My King is a decent film that takes a long hard look at a dysfunctional relationship from its romantic inception to its catastrophic conclusion. I understand why the parallel story of Tony’s hospital stay is included in the film, but it seems unnecessary in the grand scheme of things. The film gets a little confusing at times as director Maiwenn jumps between the present (Tony in the hospital), and the past (Tony and Georgio’s relationship), but what makes it compelling is that it’s semibiographical about a relationship that Maiwenn had in the past, which made it a bit of a passion project for her. That passion shines through in every carefully thought out scene. She uses the camera as a microscope in order to analyze and capture every emotion that flashes on the actor’s faces, in an attempt to determine the exact moment things go wrong in Tony and Georgio’s relationship. The result of this analyzation and passion is a film that’s both funny and heartbreaking. We’re taken on an emotional roller coaster ride as we experience those tender tentative moments when the relationship begins, and the cataclysmic drop that is the beginning of the end.  My King is a film that takes a good hard look at the question so many ask, “Should I stay, or should I go?”, but in the film, as in life, it seems there are no easy answers.
My King, or Mon Roi is not rated, was co-written and directed by Maiwenn and stars Vincent Cassel, Emmanuelle Bercot, Louis Garrel, Isild Le Besco  and Chrystèle Saint Louis Augustin. It opens in Los Angeles theaters August 26. More information about the film, including a list of other release dates by city, can be found here:

·  My King IMDB

·  My King Website

·  My King Release Dates

·  My King on Wikipedia