Hugely funny absurdism
Highly amusing, surrealist road movie in which the dopey King van Belgium discovers life and himself. Nicolas III leaves for a state visit to Istanbul where a British film maker, Duncan Lloyd, will make a documentary to buff up the king’s reputation. During the visit, news is received that Wallonia has declared independence.
The king must return at once to save his kingdom! But before he is ready to leave, a powerful solar storm disrupts all telecommunications and air traffic. The Turkish security services will not hear of the proposal to return overland instead. Then Duncan comes up with a plan involving flowery dresses and female Bulgarian singers. And so beings an undercover odyssey through the Balkans, a trip full of unexpected encounters, unforeseen dilemmas and unexpected moments of joy. Slowly the king and his entourage abandon their roles and Nicolas, who first appeared so wooden and lonely (perfectly casting of Peter Van den Begin), becomes a whole lot more lively, spontaneous and jolly.
King of The Belgians involves hugely funny absurdism, but is never over the top thanks to the inclusion of bittersweet moments and, especially, to the way in which the makers view Belgium, Europe and monarchy.