Depleting and clamorous, My King, the latest by Maïwenn, the mononymed maestra of emotional emesis, unwittingly imparts an obvious lesson: One person’s rakish charmer is another’s sociopath.
The sovereign of the title is Georgio (Vincent Cassel), a manic restaurateur whose caprices prove magnetic to lawyer Tony (Emmanuelle Bercot). Bookended by Tony’s entrance to and exit from a physical-rehab center, where she spends several weeks recuperating from a skiing accident, My King is told mostly in flashback, as the barrister recalls, during breaks from aquatic therapy, the decline of her decade-long relationship with Georgio. (Maïwenn, who co-wrote My King‘s screenplay with Etienne Comar, has a fondness for treating the bromidic — body and soul must be healed in tandem — as mind-blowing profundity.) The man she first knew as delightfully voluble and impetuous, ever voracious and attentive in bed, is exposed as a drug addict and despot too attached to his manipulative print-model ex.
The tears and recriminations, eruptions and reconciliations hold a begrudging fascination for about an hour; at the very least, My King is mostly free of the egregious tonal shifts in Maïwenn’s previous shout-y soaper, Polisse (2011). After that, though, the volume is never turned down and these characters are never less than the most unendurable company.
My King (Mon Roi)
Directed by Maïwenn
Opens August 12, Lincoln Plaza Cinemas