In King of Escape, Armand (Ludovic Berthillot) is a middle-aged farm equipment salesman working in the French countryside. Just when he is about to close a sale with a local farmer the borders of Armand’s sales territory are called into question by a rival salesman, Daniel (Luc Palun) prompting Armand to abandon the sale despite his personal interest in the customer. Popular within the gay community, Armand realizes this particular customer has taken a liking to him, and starts to figure out how he might see him again.
Mildly frustrated and growing bored with life, Armand drives to a roadside stop that is popular among local gay hustlers. While here, he hears the story of a root that increases male potency. Believing this could be just the thing he needs, Armand decides to find this hidden crop. Before he can find the root, however, Armand stumbles upon Curly (Hafsia Herzi), as she is being hassled by a group of boys. Armand protects Curly and takes her home, where he discovers Curly is the daughter of his rival.
Though gay, Armand starts to fall in love with Curly and determines he needs the special root he heard about in order to have sex with a woman. After finding the root, Armand and Curly run away, causing a multi-day police chase led by Curly’s angry father.
Armand manages to evade the police, only to end up back at the farm where he started, and naked with the men who’ve always wanted him.
Gay Themed Films, Critics
“Cruising for Alain Guiraudie seems to be the way of nature, a drive that doesn’t discriminate.”
— Diego Costa, Slant Magazine
“A marked strength of the movie is that it does succeed in making the unlikely central love affair believable within its own universe.”
— Derek Elley, Variety
Gay Themed Films, Did You Know?
Director Alain Guiraudie is often recognized for placing gay characters in roles and careers that are often atypical. Recognizing that not all gay men are young, attractive, middle-class urbanites, Guiraudie uses King of Escape to place gay characters in the French countryside, serving roles as farmers, salesmen, and police officers. This tactic not only debunks stereotypes, but gives the director the freedom to different perspectives on the brotherhood that forms between men, a perspective that culminates in the film’s closing scene.