Michael, a 15-year-old schoolboy, is sent to live with his grandfather after his mother dies. They don’t know each other and the emotional gulf between the traumatised boy and the crusty old man is immense. Slowly a relationship builds during a road trip to Alexander Bay, near Oranjemund, only to be severed by Gerald, the grandfather. Both the boy and the older man suffer the consequences. The bleak, desolate landscape of the Cape’s West coast is an eloquent backdrop to Michael and Gerald’s aloneness and aching self-sufficiency. The Fragile King has sparse dialogue which accentuates the minimalist tone. Thanks to excellent acting we come to care about what happens to the boy and the old man. In the end we are left with questions that linger, underscoring the movie’s power.