Bringing together two recent trends–British gangster movies and modern-dress Shakespeare–My Kingdom is King Lear in contemporary Liverpool.
Richard Harris, who ought to be giving his real Lear about now, is fine in the early sections as the complacent gang boss who thinks he’s above the street-level violence that sustains his empire. His downfall begins when his wife (Lynn Redgrave) dies in a random mugging and he has to divide all the assets he put in her name among his grasping family and hangers-on. Harris works less well in the mad scenes, which are staged in a motorway service-station: these really need the original language to work.
At its best, the film re-imagines the familiar characters in an extraordinarily apt manner: Regan and Goneril are Louise Lombard (as a former model turned madam who oversees a pretentious but tatty brothel) and Lorraine Pilkington (a hair-extended celebrity slut who owns a football team), while Emma Catherwood does Cordelia as Michael Corleone, an ex-junkie who has become a straight student and wants to stay out of the business.