Fantasia 2021 Review: KING CAR

From Brazil, comes a strange and almost visionary movie with good intentions, but not exactly a great realization and execution. The film presents a world where the cars are the world (or at least this world) are sentient beings totally misunderstood and abused by humanity. The protagonist Uno has been endowed with the gift to understand clearly the language of automobiles and manages to connect with a taxi car owned by his father, who runs a struggling taxi service. As Uno matures, his interests divert quite far from that of his father’s and desires to become to a life of sustainable agriculture. When that one taxi communicates with Uno once again, and he utilizes that skill to help his father rebuild his failing business, things change drastically for him and his family. However, it soon becomes apparent that the taxi has bigger plans for humanity as it uses Uno to launch a revolution against all humanity.

Written and directed by Renata Pinheiro, who co-wrote the film with Sérgio Oliveira and Leo Pyrata, King Car is an exceptional example of amazing ideas and concepts that pretty much get way out of hand when it comes to making a a credible and impactful fantasy nightmare. In both the conception and imagination, I feel the filmmakers didn’t know quite when to draw the line in making a movie that audiences in which audiences could believe and perceive within the context of a real world situation. Pinheiro obviously is a skillful director and definitely commits to the film’s conceptual aspects, but at the same time, makes some overly risky choices that fail to keep the story fairly grounded.

The cast appropriately follows suit and give performances that work despite some of the outlandishness that takes place in the movie. The movie also makes some solid commentaries about society and the distortion of priorities that our world should have. So, despite the filmmakers’ ambitions, King Car ultimately bewilders and disappoints. I suppose they completely didn’t jump the shark, but they definitely waterskied pretty damn close, and while wearing leather jackets.

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