“There is a darkness coming.” How many times have we encountered this “darkness” in fantasy movies and series, from Nothing in Michael Ende’s Endless Story to Sauron, the antagonist in The Lord of the Rings. Here we see him again – if we can put it this way – in The Letter for the King, the second Netflix series (after much, much too praised The Witcher) based on a European novel written decades ago, this time by the Dutchman Tonke Dragt. Here’s what I liked and didn’t like about the series released on the platform this Friday.
It must be said from the beginning that I am not targeted. Those who write about movies and series generally look for novelty, originality, and relevance, and we certainly won’t find them in The Letter for the King. But unlike The Valhalla Murders and Caliphate, which I recently recommended on Cinemagia, the new Netflix series has a big advantage, especially in these times: it has nothing to do with anything and offers a healthy (and not at all disappointing!) Portion. of escapism. Do you want to give the coronavirus and the authorities’ recommendations on adolescent prophecies, magic and heroism? Here’s your chance.
Creator: William Davies
Stars: Amir Wilson, Ruby Ashbourne Serkis, Thaddea Graham
Probably the great merit of the series is its hero, Tiuri (Amir Wilson, who is also the main actor in the following seasons of the HBO series His Dark Materials), a 15-year-old kid with no chance in the world of tournaments and sword confrontations in which his father of noble origin (David Wenham) would like him to excel. It’s just that Tiuri compensates for what he doesn’t master on the battlefield with a big heart and a sincere desire to help those around him. And when a kid drops a letter on which the fate of the whole kingdom depends, his mission will put all his skills to the test. And yes, if you sense that Tiuri is the equivalent of Frodo in The Lord of the Rings, you’re not wrong at all, and the hero is not late to surround himself with his own brotherhood.
The Letter for the King Movie Tv Series Review
It is comforting the simplicity of this story that has in its center of attention the eternal battle between good and evil, without ambiguous heroes and without antiheroes. And it’s impossible not to identify with Tiuri, who the series fully surrounds with stronger, braver or more skillful secondary characters on the battlefield to turn his protagonist into an “average man” forced to stand with his head up and hard heart in the greatest dangers. When we are surrounded by calls for solidarity and perseverance, when we hear discussions about the heroism of front-line doctors in the fight against coronavirus, Tiuri becomes a real example: no matter how powerless, clumsy and unprepared we are, we can all do something (even if that something is to actually do nothing) to prevent the darkness from spreading.
Certainly in other times I would be more reluctant to praise this series which is, after all, quite commonplace. But it is this banality and these very familiar elements that the series repackages that make it attractive now. Non-violent (Netflix recommends the series to children over the age of seven) and with a teenager in the spotlight, The Letter for the King is a perfect choice for families isolated by the pandemic, giving them both the escapism they so desperately need now and and harmless topics of discussion between generations.
It’s funny that The Letter for the King was met with acid reactions from fans of the 1962 book, who blamed the adaptation for allowing far too much freedom compared to the original. The book has recently been translated in our country as well, but it has certainly not become popular enough for the series to provoke reluctance in other countries.