[Review] Arthur & Merlin (Myrrdin Ltd., 2015)

Once upon a time the gods of light and the gods of darkness fought a war in the world of men. The gods of light were supported by the Tuadaan, a special tribe capable of unbelievable things. It has been centuries since the war took place, when a child is born with a birthmark, that frightens and gives hope at the same time. His presence is a gift. A gift of the Tuadaan to save the world once more.

The indie movie “Arthur & Merlin” by Myrrdin Ltd tells the well-known legend from a totally new point of view. And that’s what I especially liked about it. That’s what makes the movie what it is: a true masterpiece. We encounter Merlin and Arthur as children, one helping the other. One being a powerful element bender without any knowledge about his abilities, while the other one suffers from being one of the many sons of a nobleman.
At that point they don’t know, that their paths will cross again and they don’t know, that they will become an important part of each others lifes. I don’t want to spoil too much regarding the story, because you have to see and experience it to fully understand my enthusiasm.

Kirk Barker as Arthfael, credit: http://ladoza-uk.blogspot.co.uk/
Kirk Barker as Arthfael, credit: http://ladoza-uk.blogspot.co.uk/

I was totally blown away by the main cast. Stefan Butler as the weird and yet entertaining version of Merlin aka Myrrdin was a truly captivating experience. His portrayal reminded me of an ancient version of Sheldon Cooper from The Big Bang Theory. I don’t even know exactly why, but he did. And it suits both the character and the actor. He acts it out so naturally, that you can’t believe what a nice, friendly and totally un-weird man he is in person.
Not to speak of Kirk Barker portraying Arthfael aka Arthur. Perfect body, perfect appearance, perfect incarnation of the hero Arthur we know from all the tales. But: his Arthur is still different from all the versions we know. He’s far from being perfect and far from being a hero in the beginning. But he becomes, what he needs to be. And Barker acts that out perfectly as well.
That’s what makes the characters even more interesting in this movie: they develop. Over the course of one and a half hours the characters have become a more complex, more responsible version of themselves.

I was really impressed by the portrayal of the main villain in this movie as well. Nigel Cooke as Aberthol is one of the most frightening, most evil villains I have ever seen in a indie movie. He’s just so good. I was lead to hate Aberthol every time I saw the movie. And every time I only wished him the worst. And that actually is a good sign, because the actor manages it to let the viewer get emotional. That’s what a theatrical experience should be about.

To be honest, I don’t want to spare out anyone of the cast, because they were simply brilliant. Their names are: Charlotte Brimble, Adrian Bouchet,David Sterne,
Nicholas Asbury, Andrew Grose, Garth Maunders, Joseph Attenborough, Jack Rigby, Alison Harris, Jack Maw, Hattie Pardy-McLaughlin, Harvey Walsh, Helen Phillips, Gareth Bennett-Ryan, Kiel O’Shea, Ben Boorman, Karin Floengard Jonsson, Nathaniel Marten, Delilah Gyves-Smart, Ethan Mckinley, David Morrell, Robin Berry, Ben Craze, Bartley Burke, Timothy Block, Josh Ockenden, Adam Probets

I can’t mention everyone of the crew, because there are many areas in filmmaking I have absolutely no idea of. But the director Marco van Belle did an amazing job in putting together this piece of ancient mythology. The colours and shots are awesome, the transitions are very fluent and I enjoyed watching the movie.
Kat Wood and Marco Belle wrote the story and what can I say more than praise? Picking these tales from the celtic mytholgy and putting them together to let Myrrdin ans Arthfael come to life, is truly a work of art.

The fighting scenes were epic, the hours of training really paid out. The coordination and authenticity of the battle and single fighting scenes were really captivating.
Sound. Yeah, the sound always has an impact on the viewer. Especially on me. I love the musical background of cinematic artworks. It’s got a lot to do with the emotionality of a movie. And in this case, the music fitted perfectly well to the scenes, to the whole atmosphere.

"It would only speak to he, who would become king of the celts", credit: http://ladoza-uk.blogspot.co.uk/
“It would only speak to he, who would become king of the celts”, credit: http://ladoza-uk.blogspot.co.uk/

Summing up
I had the honour to see the movie on the big screen twice (once at HobbitCon in Bonn, once at the premiere in London) and I enjoyed every minute of it.
The movie is like a big puzzle, in which every puzzle piece sits just where it needs to be. Every department did their best and the result is a true work of art. A new perspective on the relationship between Merlin and Arthur. A new perspective on the characters, a new perspective on a totally new and yet old tale. A new perspective on the old mythology.
It’s worth every single penny and cent… So: buy it, watch it and enjoy it. So we can maybe see a second part around soon. 😉

Here’s the link to the official website: http://www.arthurandmerlin.co.uk/

Thank you again for inviting me to the London premiere, it was a pleasure and honour to be among the guests.
And a big thank you to everyone, who was involved:
(List taken from the IMDB page of the movie)
Produced by
Joe Burrows
Paul Osbourne
Rob Speranza
Marco van Belle
Adam T. Winters

Music by
Graham Plowman

Cinematography by
Phil Wood

Film Editing by
Jim Page

Production Design by
Belle Mundi

Costume Design by
Louisa Thomas

Makeup Department
Julie Atkins
Clare Gregory
Marie Morgan

Production Management
Rowan M. Ashe
Joe Burrows
Edward Rastelli-Lewis

Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Xavier Ballester
Joe Burrows
Matt Gilooly
Mario Roberto

Art Department
Nathan Bagnall
Natasha Ball
Andrew Lamb
Markus Lovadina
Oscar Potter
Alessandro Serrano
Amanda Wilks

Sound Department
Enos Desjardins
Brian Gray
Jussi Honka
Tapio Liukkonen
Rob Scown

Visual Effects by
Johan Alfort
Ian Amaya
Steve Askey
Cesar Brana
Lee David
Victor Gutarra
Derek Jackson
Daniel Johnson
Yuriy Korshunov
Mark Lambert
Jimmy Lotare
Markus Lovadina
Rafael Medrado
Roman Moiseev
Matias Moretti
Caroline Pires
Angela Rinaldi
Norberto Ritter
Leonardo Sierra
Romana Sonntag
Jason Stabollian
Tom Tatchell
Andrija Trickovic
Adam T. Winters

Rachel Bown-Williams
Ruth Cooper-Brown

Camera and Electrical Department
Michelle Arbon
John Bass
Christoph Gelep
Matt Giblin
Steve Gott
Adam Green
Rory Harborne
Benjamin Hodder
Ben Keene
Seb Nowell
Tom Nowell
Jon O’Neill
Luke Palmer
George Telling
Mitchell Thomas
Graham Tolhurst
Alex Veitch
Guillermo Álvarez Villaescusa
Paul Warsaw

Casting Department
Nicci Topping

Costume and Wardrobe Department
Damon Abba
Jema Hewitt
Elizabeth Real

Other crew
Trevor Anthoney
Denise Ashe
Elliot Bell
Oisin Carr
Steven Corton
Bruce Daly
John Colin Harold Valencia De Valence
Benyamin Evans
Joshua Evans
Mathew Evans
Samuel Evens
Matthew Flegg
Amy Floyde
Alysa Freeman
Rouben Freeman
Victoria Gegenbauer
Segh Gilam
Terry Graham
Nathan Gribble
Ian Heath
Dave Lazenby
John Lines
Adam Peter Marsden
Lauren Owen
Ian Peake
Simon Picken
David Salisbury
Daniel Sambrook
Adam Sandy
Simon Schemanoff
Amy Sharman
Matt Sly
Jasper Solomou
Adam Taylor
Lee Thomas Charles Taylor
Benjamin Thomas
Martin Tulloch
Sarah Waring
Stephen Windle


2 thoughts on “[Review] Arthur & Merlin (Myrrdin Ltd., 2015)”

  1. Nice review I just saw the movie and greatly enjoyed it. Myrddin is more like Geoffrey envisioned. The dynamic between Arthur and Myrrdin is very different from other movies. But it makes for a very good story. I have always been a fan of the Arthurian Cycle but this story like the Show “Merlin” depart from that and make for fun and entertainment.

  2. Maybe my ears are clogged but whoever wrote this script could have asked ONE Welsh person how to pronounce Myrddin and teach his mom cause it sure isn’t Mer-Den ugh. I couldn’t keep watching it with that and with the ridiculous murderous Druid reminding me of my ignorant HS “honors” English teacher who disliked me day one for contradicting her druids were mass murderers sacrificing virgins and children diatribe. Fact is the Celts did sometimes offer sacrifices but usually volunteers and criminals. The point was the volunteers would beseech their gods taking a message to them to stop famine or disease etc.

    In Mary Stewart’s Merlin trilogy and some other versions Lord Vertigern did try to sacrifice Myrddin because his advisors told him his castle on a hill kept collapsing during construction because of angry gods demanding sacrificespecially to quell the evil spirits and Myrddin saved his life with a vision telling them of an under ground lake that if drained would stop the problems and he proved correct. This heled later as be had a prophecy of Vortigern’s white dragon clashing with the red and losing. This is the evil and hated tyrant Vortigern, who long biught off and used the invading Saxons to subjugate his people being challenged and destroyed by Arthur Pendragon aka Pendraig in the original Welsh meaning chief or king dragon aka war king or battle chieftain and the red dragon that later graces the flag of the Cymraeg.

    Excalibur had it’s issues but at least it stayed true to the spirit of the story as per the French writer that created the modern popular myth from the tales in the Welsh folklore.

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