The legend of King Arthur has filled more tomes and movie screens than most legends, with no wonder. Weaving the beauty of a medieval legend into a tapestry rich with honorable characters, gruesome enemies and above all, a noble quest, the newest retelling of the tale meets high expectations.
Shot against the misty verdant beauty of the English Isles, this Arthur is not your grandmother’s Arthur. Impassioned, torn, eloquent and unfaltering, Arthur is portrayed as a man coming into his own after betrayal at the hands of the Romans he has served and honored. Played by Clive Owen to brooding perfection, this Arthur must choose between the Christian Rome of his father and the pagan Briton of his mother. Shown as a man of great faith given to praying on his knees, Arthur nevertheless leaves the Roman Church behind to follow his faith to the greater calling of serving his fellow pagan Britons. In one prayer he asks that if the ultimate sacrifice must be given to bring his men safely home, that he be allowed to lay down his life for his pagasn comrades.
If Arthur was a nice surprise, that’s nothing compared to the wild ride offered by Keira Knightly as Guinevere. This Guinevere is more at home as a screaming leather-clad “Woad warrior,” bold in battle and bolder of tongue, as she is in a more demure gown and guise. I LIKE this Guinevere (although she does seduce and bed Arthur in one delicately filmed scene.)
With breathtaking cinematography and the crystal vocals of Christian Celtic artist Moya Brennan woven in, this King Arthur is a rich treat for the senses and is one movie that gives Christianity a fair depiction, both good and bad.
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