Eddie O’Keefe’s Shangri La Suite (2016) follows two young lovers who escape the mental institute where they fell in love and go on a mission to kill Elvis. Yes, that Elvis. There’s a reason why they are in the institute and in Jack’s (played by Luke Grimes) case, his unhealthy obsession with the King has somehow twisted itself into the need to kill. Emily Browning’s Karen seems to be there for a more relatable and general bundle of teenage angst, ennui, and rebellion, but she sure is along for the ride. This fits in nicely with my favorite niche movie genre, trashy-girl-goes-on-road-trip-and-gets-into-trouble-but-ultimately-will-make-it. In this case, Karen is middle class but I think we can all agree that murdering is trashy. It’s got all the other things that make this genre great- dangerous boys, violence, endearing sidekicks, the desert.
Is it fun?
Yeah, it’s pretty fun. It’s shot like if Petra Collins loved 1970’s yellow and it’s a fun little premise, though it unshockingly gets a little dark and takes itself a little seriously in some parts. (Elvis has visions of his dead mom and younger self. It’s a bit much.)