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Posted at: May 12, 2017, 6:38 PM; last updated: May 12, 2017, 6:43 PM (IST)MOVIE REVIEW- KING ARTHUR : LEGEND OF THE SWORD

Dark and compelling

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Film: King Arthur : Legend of The Sword

  • Cast:Charlie Hunnam,Astrid Berges-Frisbey,Djimon Hounsou,Aiden Gillen,Jude Law,Katie McGrath,Eric Bana,Annabelle Wallis,Mikael Persbrandt,Aidan Gillen
  • Director: Guy Ritchie
Dark  and compelling
A still from the movie

Johnson Thomas

The Dark knight rises in ancient pre-Raphaelite England and as the lore gets reinvented( for the umpteenth time), it’s a new beginning for King Arthur and his Knights at the round table. For Director/visionary of this unrelenting massacre of romance and emotions, Guy Ritchie, this as a foundational myth, is a story in progress that builds it’s intrigue on a ‘Game of thrones’ like dark fantasia that is brutal and intentionally flippant.

The heir to the throne here has been brought up in a bordello, is presented as a low class toughie and inadvertently proves his significance.

This story of Britain born from conniving, vengeance, bloody fight-backs, murky moods and thunderous mayhem revolves mainly around brutality and brutishness. Brief swigs of humor and magic barely register in the frenetic pace of story-telling that Ritchie employs. The swordplay fantasy registers only as a speedy run through to the sequel-in-waiting, portent because Arthur is shown as building a round table and anointing his Knights as the narrative nears the end credits. Like in most medieval Palace intrigues the world over, Arthur (Hunnam), the  slain Uther Pendragan’s (Eric Bana)heir apparent, has to prove his genealogy by unsheathing the mythic Sword Excalibur from it’s stony sheath, get shackled because of it and then escape to launch a fight-back that will in effect take Vortigern(Jude Law) out of the running. The Mage (Astrid Berges-Frisbey) prompts his memory of the past and protects him from harm en route to the throne deemed his by right.

No doubt there’s plenty of imagination and vigorous narrative zeal in the digital embellishment of this fantastic beast. Unfortunately there’s not enough empathy or romance to offset the heavy-duty rigor of darkness and brutality on show here. The speculative flash-back to forward and back narrative format that delineates the pre-interval half may provide you with all the back story you may need but it doesn’t allow for any affection to develop. Law’s Vortigern veers towards camp with obvious relish, Hunnam has the physique and presence to rate as a star in the making while Eric Bana lends stoic credibility to the original noble king.

David Beckham’s short-lived onscreen presence here allows for some levity at the very least. Ritchie’s flamboyance does come across as overdone. Styling and design shouldn’t overwhelm to such an extent that coherence and plausibility becomes suspect. Unfortunately that’s what happens here. But for the climactic turbulence the CGI is credit worthy and the pace is immediately happening. This obviously is a uniquely imagined Guy Ritchie film and that in fact happens to be its saving grace as well as its chief bugbear!

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