warwick the king maker

The King Maker

[wawr-ik, wor- or, for 4, wawr-wik, wor-]

The King Maker (Thai: กบฏท้าวศรีสุดาจัน , or The Rebellion of Queen Sudachan, is a 2005 Thai historical drama film set during the Ayutthaya kingdom. With a storyline that shares many similarities to 2001's The Legend of Suriyothai, The King Maker's plot focuses on a Portuguese mercenary (Gary Stretch) in the service of the Siamese court. Produced by David Winters, it was the first English-language Thai film production since the 1941 film, King of the White Elephant, produced by Pridi Phanomyong.


The story opens with Portuguese soldier Fernando de Gama drowning in the ocean after a shipwreck. He comes to, finds some wreckage to float on and washes up on the coast of Siam. After almost being eaten by a crocodile, he is captured by some Arab slave traders and taken to Ayutthaya. Released from his bonds to be put on the auction block, he promptly knocks down his captors and leads them on a chase throughout the ancient city.

Eventually, he's brought under control, but not before he's captured the attention of a Eurasian beauty, Maria, who buys him his freedom back.

Maria's father, as it turns out, is Phillippe - the man who killed Fernando's father and thus set Fernando on a lifetime quest for revenge.

But there are bigger battles to be fought. Fernando and his Portuguese compatriots are pressed into the service of King Chairacha, who has to go into battle. It's a multi-national taskforce, not only including Portuguese mercenaries, but also samurai warriors (likely Christians expelled from Japan).

In battle, Fernando bonds with a Thai warrior named Tong. They distinguish themselves by saving the King from an assassination attempt and are appointed his personal bodyguards.

Queen Sudachan, a former royal consort who schemed her way into becoming queen, is behind the assassination plot. Because it failed, she calls on Don Phillippe for help. Phillippe in turn enlists a scar-faced ninja to kill the king.

This plan is also thwarted by Fernando, Tong and other Siamese troops.

So Sudachan has to resort to black magic and poison the king. She also must kill her own son, Prince Yodfam who would next in line for the throne, to clear the way for her boyfriend. This she achieves by hiring a spear-wielding African warrior.

Fernando and Tong are framed for the deaths and made to fight each other in a death duel for Sudachan and her new king's amusement. Maria is brought out and stomped on by an elephant and survives.

And Fernando survives to have his final showdown with Don Phillippe.


Language issues

  • All the dialogue was recorded in English. However, when the movie was screened commercially in Thailand, the parts where Thai characters were interacting with other Thais were dubbed in Thai.

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