7.3/10
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17 user 18 critic

King's Game (2004)

Kongekabale (original title)
Not Rated | | Thriller | 1 October 2004 (Denmark)
Election for the Danish parliament is up and the main opposition party has a chance at winning and its leader at becoming the next prime minister. The leader is hospitalized and the scheming begins.

Director:

Nikolaj Arcel

Writers:

Nikolaj Arcel (screenplay), Rasmus Heisterberg (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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13 wins & 7 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Anders W. Berthelsen Anders W. Berthelsen ... Ulrik Torp
Søren Pilmark ... Erik Dreier Jensen
Nastja Arcel Nastja Arcel ... Lone Kjeldsen
Nicolas Bro ... Henrik Moll
Lars Mikkelsen ... Peter Schou
Ulf Pilgaard Ulf Pilgaard ... Gunnar Torp
Charlotte Munck ... Mette Torp
Lars Brygmann ... Mads Kjeldsen
Helle Fagralid ... Signe Jonsen
Jesper Langberg Jesper Langberg ... Aksel Bruun
Jens Jørn Spottag ... Per Vestgaard
Kurt Ravn ... John Erhardsen
Bjarne Henriksen ... Bo Andersen
Nicolaj Kopernikus ... Søren Agergaard
Clara Maria Bahamondes Clara Maria Bahamondes ... Julie Torp
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Storyline

Three weeks before general elections, the leader of one of the country's largest parties, the Center Party, is involved in a severe car accident. The political scene is thrown into disarray. At the same time, young, ambitious journalist, Ulrik Torp, is given the opportunity of a life time and made Dagbladet's correspondent in Parliament. Before long, Ulrik gets caught up in a ruthless struggle for power headed by the party's two successors to the leadership, chairman Erik Dreier and spokesman Lone Kjeldsen. Ulrik barely geets to dip his toes in the water, before all hell breaks loose. Speculation in the press and calculated lies fuel the controversy at great personal cost to many of the people involved. Ulrik slowly uncovers a cynical plot that involves the country's incumbent Prime Minister. He becomes obsessed with learning the truth. But no one will listen to him, be it politicians or colleagues in the press corps, and as election day draws near, Ulrik has to face the power elite ... Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Truth Or Spin?

Genres:

Thriller

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The novel on which this is based, Niels Krause-Kjær's "Kongekabale", was written shortly after the writer quit his job as spin-doctor for the Conservative party in Denmark. During his employment at the party it went through a power struggle between two different wings of the party. It is generally thought that this power struggle is the inspiration for the novel. See more »

Quotes

Erik Dreier Jensen: This will be forgotten in two weeks, I hope you realize that.
Ulrik Torp: Two weeks is enough.
See more »

Alternate Versions

Aired on Danish TV in 2007 in a three-episode mini series version with new editing and new scenes. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Kongekabale - Sandheden om filmen (2004) See more »

Soundtracks

Lost You Forever
Composed by Ken Lending (as Kenn Lending)
Performed by Kenn Lending Blues Band
From the album Heartache Motel
Olufsen Records 1993 (DOC5114)
See more »

User Reviews

 
Unusually well-produced and important Danish film... but not without flaws
9 October 2005 | by TBJCSKCNRRQTreviewsSee all my reviews

I didn't expect a lot from this film... I just knew it was a Danish thriller about some political situation, and that it had gotten mostly positive reviews. Being somewhat unimpressed by Danish cinema, I didn't really give it much of a chance to grab me... yet it managed to do so. For at least the last two-thirds of this film, I was hanging by every single line spoken and every detail on screen. It's unusually well-made, not only for a Danish film. I'm impressed that this is Nikolaj Arcel's first movie as a director; he does a marvelous job. The film contains a very accurate and realistic portrayal of politics in a democratic country. As such, it's actually quite unnerving... the thought that something like what is shown in this film can actually take place. The very last line of the film holds more truth than the combined efforts of plenty of less intelligent writers. The plot is interesting. The pace is very good, you're never really bored. The visuals and cinematography are perfect, not too simple, but not flashy, either. The acting is top-notch in all cases. The dialog is well-written and equally well-delivered. The finale is one of the best pieces of storytelling on film I've seen for a while. Now, despite all these positive things I've written so far, this film does have some rather big flaws. First off, it's plot-driven, yet the story and concept would have done much better with a character-driven film. All characters are used as plot devices; they exist to drive the plot further, to tell the story, rather than to evoke emotions and be active parts of it. The character development is slim... actually, it's rather close to completely non-existent. We don't know or care about these people... and why should we? They are all paper-thin and clichéd. Everyone is completely driven by one thing, and one thing alone. The villain is the worst. Not one redeeming quality to him whatsoever. Not even the least bit credible. Something that hurts the high quality of this film is that we are practically introduced to the bad guys... there's no suspense on that front. So part of the film is just watching the main character discover what we already know. What's left for suspense is the viewers following the evidence being collected. Not saying that it isn't entertaining to watch... but it could most certainly have been better. As it is, the film is a well-done and accurate portrayal of modern-day politics with a very good plot, and in which the execution leaves some to be desired. I recommend it to fans of thrillers, particularly political ones. It lacks in nuance and slightly in suspense, but it is well-done and it has an important message. 8/10


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Details

Country:

Sweden | Denmark

Language:

Danish

Release Date:

1 October 2004 (Denmark) See more »

Also Known As:

Den tredje makten See more »

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Box Office

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$35,436
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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