The Kid Who Would Be King: A Tale of Kindness and Kinship
Most of us have probably heard about Arthurian legends especially in our English literature classes while growing up. We are no strangers to the mighty King Arthur, his league of gallant knights, and the sword that wielded countless victories for beloved Britain.
The Kid Who Would Be King is yet another take on the Arthurian legend, which has been told and retold over the decades. Yet before one dismisses it as a mere rehash, think again: How often do we see children embarking on a gargantuan task, let alone battle an actual “giant” in terms of power – the greedy villain Morgana?
Below are reasons why the movie is worth watching, especially for young people who could learn a thing or two from the movie.
SPOILERS AHEAD. YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED.
1. Children are capable of facing monsters, taking action, and creating solutions. Just because someone is young does not automatically deem him incapable.
One of the most fascinating things to behold on the silver screen is seeing Alex (Louis Serkis) transform from being an in-denial, would-be hero afraid of the responsibility attached to holding the Excalibur into being a kind-hearted, young leader who empowers other people, King Arthur-style. While his heroism meant standing up to his own mother and even seeing the heartbreaking realization about the truth regarding his father, these setbacks did not stop him from leading the troop into victory.
Sometimes, it might be hard to believe a child and a child’s discoveries, but let us not forget – in the world of fiction and in real life – that a child has an eye that is more often than not untainted by the cruelties of life. There might be wisdom in listening to what they have to say and seeing what they can do.
2. Making friends out of your enemies is not the worst idea, especially in terms of winning in combat and in life.
It is uncomfortable to witness how friends Alex and Bedders – main characters themselves – get easily bullied by schoolmates Kaye and Lance. Bullying is one of the ugliest truths in reality, and holding the Excalibur surely exposed Alex to even more bullying and danger.
However, in the spirit of Arthurian leadership, Alex was able to turn things around by letting in Kaye and Lance in his mission to defeat Morgana. This alone is something that most young children may need to watch and learn from. Those who are bullies often struggle with their monsters as well.
3. Help comes in many forms, and sometimes, it comes in ways least unexpected but most helpful.
The wizard Merlin comes to aid the four friends – their own version of the Knights of Round Table – as they venture on their quest to vanquish Morgana once and for all. Whether in his old magician appearance or as a seeming oddity of a British teenager, Merlin not only delivers his role but also educates the children about the more important things: chivalry, generosity, purity, bravery, and talent.
Reasons above aside, do we really need another Arthurian film? Writer-director Cornish quips the need to rewrite legends anew, so that they can cater to the changing times. The King Who Would Be King may not be the best of movies in terms of technicalities (for one, character development seems to happen overnight), but these flaws are outweighed by what it champions: earnest, moral behavior, and truth-seeking behaviors that seem greatly needed in this day and age. That alone should be enough reason to enjoy the movie. Buckle up and try to pull the primordial sword from the stone. You never know when it’s your turn to be the hero.
Catch The Kid Who Would Be King on cinemas nationwide starting 23 January 2019.