Anna and the King

Bomb Rating: 

A proper English woman, Anna Leonowens, goes to Siam in the mid-nineteenth century and changes the course of Siamese history because King Mongkut has never tasted English pie.

How many times do you have to tell the same story? Fortunately, I didn't have to endure the 1956 version with Yul Brynner and Deborah Kerr, but I couldn't avoid the little cartoon last year put out by "We Wanna Be the Next Disney but Our Animators Suck" studios.

Now comes yet another version of how a proper English woman, Anna Leonowens (Jodie Foster), goes to Siam in the mid-nineteenth century and changes the course of Siamese history because King Mongkut (Chow Yun-Fat) has never tasted English pie. Don't kid yourself about this either. Whatever strong will and modern ways Anna brought with her to Siam, it didn't compare to the taste of her pie. Let's face it, the King already had twenty-some odd wives who all baked the same Siamese pie, and he wanted to sample the English version.

It's actually something of a surprise that the King even notices Anna's pastry, because she's wearing some sort of brassiere that makes it look like her nipples are made from jagged rocks. This king seems awfully focused on learning English and bettering himself and his children, because the first thing I would have asked is, "Good God, woman, what the hell is going on with your nipples?" Actually, the real King probably did ask that very question, but director Andy ("Ever After") Tennant has excised it from this version because he wanted a politically correct King of Siam.

You see, we're expected to believe that all people, no matter how backasswards their country and their customs might be, have the right to behave like morons. Siam could have been having clitorectomy festivals right up until last year, but we still wouldn't be able to call their people cretins without being crucified by the Politically Correct Orthodoxy (Motto: "Compassion for everyone or we'll blow your head off.") In fact, Chow Yun-Fat might have actually made reference to Siamese clitorectomy festivals in this film, but I wouldn't know. I could hardly understand a thing he was saying.

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