‘The Kid Who Would Be King’ paints a majestic portrait of the younger generation

Our world is fractured. All it takes is a scroll through any social media of choice, a mere minute of listening to the radio, or even just overhearing a conversation to realize that we live in a time of conflict and instability. One can assume that it’s only happening now, but a long time ago, it was this very same world that led a wizard to set a certain sword in stone.

The Legend of King Arthur is well-known, and certainly Alex Elliot (Louis Ashbourne Serkis) is familiar with it. While on the run from school bullies Lance (Tom Taylor) and Kaye (Rhianna Dorris), while trying to protect their  friend Bedders (Dean Chaumoo), stumble upon a certain sword set in a construction pillar. Noticing an inscription on the sword, they take out their smartphones and Google Translate the heck out of ‘Gladius arturi filius tintageli’ — the sword of Arthur, the son of Tintagel.

Right on cue, The Kid Who Would Be King cheekily expands into the world of the Arthurian legend. The characters slowly realize the similarities of their current situation to the lore, from their own names to a new student named Martin who, you guessed it, turns out to be Merlin (Angus Imrie and Patrick Stewart). He warns Alex and Bedders that current events have powered the evil Morgana le Fay (Rebecca Ferguson), who’s set to take the sword and wreak havoc on the world. The two friends and their bullies-turned-allies then begin a quest to defeat Morgana, all the while asking the important question: are you ever too young to save the world?

 

The feeling of helplessness can take a toll especially when it feels like the world’s falling apart. But as long as there’s hope, honor and people who believe in us, we’ll be okay.

 

It’s quite by the numbers, really, this film. If you’re accustomed to the good versus evil films of late, you’ll certainly feel all the familiar beats: the underdog angle, the disagreement before the big battle, and so on. But compared to other fantasy films like Harry Potter and The Lord of the Rings, this modern retelling of the Legend of King Arthur finds its ground on the shared reality. There’s an ease to it, immersing yourself in their world — we were all kids once, we’ve all been there. From being bullied to not getting what we want, the feeling of helplessness can take a toll especially when it feels like the world’s falling apart. But as long as there’s hope, honor and people who believe in us, we’ll be okay.

Living in the world we’re in, it doesn’t take much to get discouraged. But if it takes films like The Kid Who Would Be King to get a generation to go on quests, be it through playdates or in senate seats, to save the world then there might be hope after all — one that’s set in stone.

 

The Kid Who Would Be King is now showing in cinemas.

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#culture #FYI #history #movies #review

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