- Alessandro Borghi, Alessio Lapice, Fabrizio Rongione
- Filippo Gravino, Francesca Manieri, Matteo Rovere
- Matteo Rovere
- Running Time
- 123 minutes
- Release Date
- September 24th, 2019
It’s a tale as old as, well it’s a pretty old tale. The birth of a nation, Rome and their first King!
The First King opens up with two brothers, Romulus (Lapice) and Remus (Borghi), two shepherds that are swept away by a devastating flood. Leaving one of them wounded, the other trying desperately to save his brother. All they have is each other and will do anything to protect each another. Much like any pair of brothers, but this bond is more than just blood, these two are destined for greatness. One of these two men is set to be a great and noble king, there’s just one problem, only one man can be king. The film serves as a story about brotherhood, freedom and carving out ones own path in life.
When movies try to tackle historical events, it can get messy, overblown, unrealistic and in some cases just plain silly. Not here, as The First King takes serious notes from films like Gladiator and The Revenant like a mashup in that it was very gritty. Its storytelling is both brutal and very rich. When approaching historical realism, it’s better suited to take a hard hitting realistic approach. It makes for some fantastic movie making, and some stunning visuals and cinematography. Using real sets only helps as it gives the film a more authentic feel. Without the use green screens or CGI, especially when the fighting ensues, it becomes barbaric. In the end, it is easy to tell how well made as there was plenty of care and pride that went into its inception.
To believe in faith or not. It’s one of the more prevalent themes of The First King, one brother enriched by God, while the other seeks his own belief in something deeper. It’s ultimately the dividing point between our two heroes, it’s tares them apart faster than a tidal wave hurling towards them. In the beginning, faith and the belief in God was the only thing people had. It’s what gave them hope, and it’s something that can’t be taken lightly or even taken away from anyone.
When you tell people not only do you have watch a film but also read a film, a lot of people will check out. With The First King, you’re almost immediately rooting for these two brothers and the two leads Borghi and Lapice are fantastic. The story takes a stark look at the very early times of civilization, buts it’s done so gracefully and thought out. This was the start to one of the greatest empires this world has ever seen and it was a refreshing take on it. Empires always need to start somewhere and this one happens to start two brothers drifting away together, hopeless without the faintest idea of what was to come.
The First King was definitely a surprise that ended up being a nice treat.
*still courtesy of Well Go USA Entertainment*