Excellent first rate review IMHO. Completely agree with everything you wrote. Plot synopsis is well transcribed. Quite right to acknowledge the costume designers, until this sharp DVD transfer I never appreciated the sewn-on sequin/studs on the kings black shirt in the earlier scenes (I just thought it was gold polka dot print). Very colourful array of costumes & set design. I presume the telecine transfer has undergone some restoration techniques. The picture is displayed "letter-boxed" even on 16:9 screens because it retains its original Cinemascope 55 anamorphic ratio.
It was interesting to mention the controversial stir which to this day rubs with Thailand which I'd also like to touch upon.
Of course, this rendition is a screenplay adaptation of Margaret Landons novel which itself is an adaptation of Anna Leonowen's diaries, so here we have a 3rd hand account before studio editorial decisions. My personal research is to understand that the real Mongkut was NOT a harsh disciplinarian or ruthless despot. Information in current circulation suggests that Leonowens' accounts of Siamese court life were greatly exaggerated so herein lies the root of the harm yet multiplied. Fox did endeavour to re-write the script to improve the presentation of the King but had left too much "spice" to satisfy the Thais. I notice that Mongkuts name is carefully avoided.
Let's hope nowadays that the Thai nation have noted that Hollywood films are an inaccurate learning source for historical representation but are often overdramatised for entertainment purposes. Throughout the film I take the soft view toward the king & the end is emotionally charged. It's worth remembering that the film is popular for the musical and theatrical merits of Rogers & Hammerstein before factual content.
I've enjoyed reading some of your other reviews, by & large this is a film review. As a suggestion (not a criticism) for those who happen to know the film already, a DVD or Blu Ray review could mention packaged extras such as commentaries, language options, angle or aspect ratio options, bonus features, running times, restoration info, audio selection. For example, my disc is from a 6-disc Rodgers & Hammerstein boxed set issued by 20th Century Fox in 2006. One of the fantastic features of this DVD is the ability to play the original orchestra score in isolation from the vocals (in stereo only). This allows you to marvel at the brilliant performance of the 20th Century Fox Orchestra conducted by the great Alfred Newman & focus on hearing the writing detailed by the 4 orchestrators involved. I still consider this a superbly engineered music sound recording made by Vinton Vernon of any era.