What is going on with the world of cinema? This is another film where a woman has sex with a car. First, Titane grabbed the attention of the film cinematic world with its crazy concept and provocative intimate scenes. Then you have King Car. It would be easy for me to sit here writing and focusing on the sequence where a young woman named Mercedes (portrayed by Jules Elting) gets intimately acquainted with a vehicle. These sequences are beautifully shot and full of energy…and certainly provocative. But that would not do justice to this interesting high concept science fiction film.
But what is King Car about? There is a son of a taxi company owner who has a fascinating talent. He can speak to cars. One makes quite the connection. King Car with its whispering and seductive voice has a knack for attracting people and playing them all at once. They have a lifelong connection after King Car saved this young man as a child. This vehicle’s intentions seem like they are beneficial as he tries to help this young man’s decrepit community. But what are the real motivations to do so? Things get crazy when the car’s actions become violent.
What an interesting concept, right? Writer-director Renata Pinheiro has plenty of big ideas to offer. The themes regarding the struggles of this town are strong foundations for the rest of the film. This community helped shape all the characters in the film including our protagonist. Their desperation to trust in these mysterious vehicles is indicative of what society has done to them. They are fooled into the violent trap. Along with these deeper themes, Pinheiro can deliver plenty of style and flash. The atmosphere created around the film is enticing and alluring. Each scene pops with energy including the before mentioned scenes of automotive intimacy. There is plenty of tension and suspense as well. Pinheiro can stage plenty of scenes with a high tension that will leave the audience on the edge of their seats.
But what takes away from the film? The overall narrative is not driven and focused. The film takes a long time to figure itself out. What does it want to be? What is the story being told? There are plenty of moving parts by the end. When you do strip it away, there is a tense and moving conflict from the ever-evolving relationship between our protagonist and his murderous machine. That aspect of the film hits hard but there are others that don’t feel like they have the same emotional connection or focus on narrative.
But what is the bottom line when it comes to this fantastical ride? King Car is bold and visceral which delivers an impactful experience for the audience. The film might not always come together, and it can also be too strange and provocative for some. But if you can handle some of the taboo concepts and strange elements, this is a crazy ride worth taking.