FILM REVIEW: KING KHAYAM AND I


The Plot: King Kayam’s search for another wife brought him the escapee, Princess Gracia. She doesn’t want to be wed to a man, she doesn’t love so she left her kingdom and ended up in King Kayam’s kingdom. They met and fell in love. – RV

The Reviews: King Kayam is the playboy king of the Vulcan kingdom played convincingly by the younger action star,  Joseph Estrada. King Kayam has several wives (Marissa Delgado, Lucita Soriano, Rossana Marquez) with several kids, the eldest played by teen star, Dondon Nakar. But with all these wives you might think the king will be satisfied sexually, wrong! He wanted more and asked his disciple (Rod Navarro) to find him more wives. Meanwhile on the kingdom of Salamanca, a young princess named Princess Gracia is being groom to be a wife. Her king father (Ruben Rustia) and queen mother (Anita Linda) are looking for suitable husband. When the princess discovered her three suitors, she decided to eloped. Wearing an ordinary disguise clothes and with the help of her sidekick (Lorli Villanueva), they left the kingdom and reached Vulcan.  Bad luck came into them as they were caught by a bad bandits who are selling slaves into the public by auctioning them into the public market like cattle. When the disguised princess turn to be auction, she caught the attention of the king’s disciple and bought her together with her sidekick.

He brought them to the palace and excitedly present the princess to the king but the princess ugly herself with makeup and the king was turned off. The disciple then madly sent them to kitchen to work. But because of her upbringing she can’t handle the hard work and decided to change her escape tactic by cooperating. The disciple then presented her again to the king and with her real beauty caught the king’s attention. The king and the disguised princess developed a romance. The princess explained to the surprise king that she is actually a real princess and the king agreed to return her to her kingdom in exchange, she will teach him what she knows about running a kingdom. The two went into a disguise and the king saw first hand how the ordinary people in his kingdom lives. With the romance blooming, the wives headed by Marissa Delgado, who is having an affair with the disciple, planned a revolt.  The two entrapped the king.  They jailed the king.  Fortunately, Princess Gracia convinced the other wives to fight back and they freed the King.  With the freed King Kayam, he allowed Princess Gracia to return to her kingdom.  KIng Kayam asked her parent if he can marry her and they agreed. The end.

The Dance

The film started promising with funny scenes of Joseph Estrada facing his people seeking his advice or help. One was when a man presented his new product, a flying magic carpet but when the carpet didn’t fly, the king suggested, avoid a heavy/fat rider. Then a much younger veteran actress Mary Walter appeared, brought her magic lamp. She complain that the seller fooled her to buy a defected product. She demonstrated and caressed the lamp. The genie came out but instead of the expected giant gennie, a midget/dwarf genie came out. Then from this moment the film went downhill. A singing bird, a transsexual Ike Lozada (being auctioned), Rod Navarro’s over the top villain antics, all failed to sustained our attention. The weak storyline did not help. Patterned with the Hollywood film, King Kayam & I’s only saving grace was the acting of its lead stars. Joseph Estrada’s presence was commanding and convincing as the playboy king and Vilma’s charming innocence despite the sexy dance number at the end complimented Joseph’s macho image. The two did three films, although they didn’t shared a single scene in Dugo at Pagibig sa Kapirasong Lupa, King Kayam was their only film together as mature actors. Their first outing was Batang Iwahig, when Vi was just a child star and Joseph was in his early years as a bankable action star. Produced by the late, Experidion Laxa of Tagalog Ilang-Ilang Production, the film was just a mild hit, probably the main reason why there was no follow-up project for the two. Two reasons why the film failed was probably the cheap set decorations and the weak story/screenplay of Nestor U Torre, Jr. The song lyrics of Levi Celerio can’t salvaged the mostly canned music of Resti Umali either. This was despite the splendid musical number in the kitchen (when Vilma protested to the cooks that she was a princess and should be treated like one). Die-hard Vilmanians would probably considered Vilma’s dance number at the very end as the highlight of the film.

RELATED READING:
King Khayam and I (1974)
Pelikula Atbp: King Khayam and I (1974)

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