This is a combination of a non-musical, "serious" version of The King and I
and a remake of the 1946 epic film Anna And The King Of Siam
starring Rex Harrison as King Mongkut and Irene Dunne as Anna, with Linda Darnell as Tuptim and Lee J. Cobb as the Kralahome.
Anna Leonowens is played by Jodie Foster
and the King is played by Chow Yun Fat
. Also features a pre-Harry Potter Tom Felton
as Louis Leonowens. Incidentally, this movie came out the same year as the animated version of The King And I
This show features examples of:
- Award Bait Song: "How Can I Not Love You", performed by Joy Enriquez at the end over the credits.
- Adult Fear: The King trying to protect his children from being slaughtered.
- Earlier, there's his favorite daughter falling ill and dying.
- Arranged Marriage: the one between Tuptim and the King (and, presumably, between the King and his other wives).
- Banned In Thailand: because of the film's apparently blasphemous portrayal of royalty.
- Bodyguard Betrayal.
- The British Empire: described with a touch of White Man's Burden.
- Costume Porn.
- Culture Clash: with many comedic sides. Anna is being addressed as 'Sir' at the court because women are not spoken to by the high officials.
- Dance of Romance: romantic as always, but with subtle political undertones as a bonus.
- Evil Chancellor: a classic example, except he is not a chancellor but a high general.
- Fisher King: the people of Siam believe that the King can summon rain by his prayers.
- Going Native: strongly averted. Even though Anna stands by Siam's side in her discussion with a crooked English noble, it is VERY important for her to pass on to her son the feeling of belonging to British culture.
- Gorgeous Period Dress: Everything Anna wears.
- Gory Discretion Shot: The execution of Tuptim and her lover.
- Letting Her Hair Down: Anna. She came from Victorian Britain, so she could not let her hair down in public, but the scene when she meets the King in her night apparel has all the symbolism of this trope.
- Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Anna really meant well, but her attempt to appeal to the King to stop Tuptim's execution only seals the deal. The King was going to overturn the sentence, but refuses to do so after Anna announce she's going to take the matter to him, since he is afraid of looking like he follows the orders of Anna.
- Nostalgic Narrator: Prince Chulalongkorn.
- Not So Different: During the dance, a British official laughs at how ridiculous he finds Siamese beliefs to be. The King takes it in stride, pointing out how the English believe in King Arthur and how he pulled a magic sword from a stone (a story which Anna had told the King about earlier).
- Polyamory: the King asks Anna how is it possible for the men in England to be happy with only one wife at the time. He is clearly trying to be a good husband for all his wives.
- For her part, Anna is initially unable to believe that so many women could share the same husband and not be jealous of one another. It's explained to her that the wives all get along because each one secretly believes she's the one the King likes best.
- Protocol Peril: Anna nearly gets killed after she approaches the King without being officially announced.
- Rage Against the Heavens.
- Scenery Porn: Starting with the city and palace, and carrying on to the beautiful countryside and mountains
- She Cleans Up Nicely: Anna's appearance in a Pimped-Out Dress at the supper for English guests. Dance of Romance ensues.
- Spoiled Sweet: the little princess.
- Succession Crisis: attempted but happily prevented by the King.
- Traumatic Haircut: Tuptim shaves her head to disguise as a Buddhist monk and be closer to her beloved.
- Very Loosely Based on a True Story: The story is based on Anna's (real life) diaries. These in themselves are highly suspect, and many elements of them have been left out anyway.
- You No Take Candle: This version still has educated Siamese talking this way.
- Your Normal Is Our Taboo: Anna expresses her indignation after she is asked by an official, whom she met for the first time, about the way in which her husband died. It turns out that asking about most private matters at the beginning of the conversation is considered as a way of expressing kindness in Siam.