While James Brooke’s name may be unfamiliar to many viewers, his exploits in Southeast Asia, as depicted in Michael Haussman’s adventure biopic, are not. After all, they were the inspiration for Lord Jim by Joseph Conrad and The Man Who Would Be King by Rudyard Kipling. Brooke’s incredible path from ex-soldier in the Bengal army to becoming the White Rajah of Sarawak, which drew Errol Flynn’s attention at the time, is ready for the big screen. Unfortunately, Edge of the World falls short of capturing the essence of this interesting and complex period in British colonial history.
Brooke (Jonathan Rhys Meyers) and his cousin Arthur (Dominic Monaghan) and nephew Charley (Otto Farrant), both army soldiers, arrive by boat in the scenic Sarawak. The local aristocrats, particularly Prince Mahkota, react with distrust and hostility to their presence (Bront Palarae). Brooke’s valiant efforts during a pirate siege, however, result in his coronation as Rajah, much to Mahkota’s chagrin. Brooke’s reign meets Mahkota’s deadly attacks, as well as criminal charges from the British empire, as he seeks to establish the domain as a sovereign nation. IMDB