Combining elements of comedy, drama, and tragedy, this low-budget film about a lonely nobody of a man who becomes famous by successfully imitating Elvis Presley (i.e., by being someone other than himself) is almost entirely devoid of appealing qualities. Almost Elvis offers no memorable insight into its potentially interesting subject matter, lacks narrative drive, and has a pervasively and oppressively depressing atmosphere. However, writer/first-time director Petra Revenue deserves respect for having made this movie just like she wanted to make it, not feeling bound by the usual filmmaking conventions.
Pirko (Kjell Wilhelmsen), the main character, is far from sympathetic, which makes it difficult for the viewer to care about him. The other characters come across exactly as what they are: soulless screenplay constructs whose only purpose in life is to serve the plot of the film that they are in.
Almost Elvis is decidedly experimental in style, with unconventional storytelling and a rather distracting theatrical feel to it. The ascetic production values give the proceedings the unmistakable appearance of a made-for-TV movie.
In terms of physique, Wilhelmsen is a good choice for the lead role, and he delivers an okay performance. Inger Heyman competently plays Pirko’s angry, alcoholic grandmother. Also noteworthy among the cast members are Mia Skäringer and Sten Ljunggren, who play Pirko’s girlfriend Linda and his guardian angel/inner voice, respectively.
(Original title: Karaokekungen.)