We follow in Guy Ritchie’s footsteps and get a sneak peek into locations from his next film, King Arthur: Legend of the Sword
WORDS & PHOTOGRAPHS: HIMANSHU PANDYA
WHO was Arthur? Whence from did he come? Was he a rightful heir to the throne, or a mere commoner destined for greatness? Was he even real? Did the famed Excalibur actually exist? And, if it did, did it really give Arthur superhuman abilities? Maybe some questions are best left unanswered. Or perhaps Guy Ritchie has managed to unearth some new evidence. But, as I meander through the English countryside, visiting filming locations from King Arthur: Legend of the Sword, there’s one thing I know: some stories just have to be told.
King Arthur and his round table of knights have captured storytellers’ imaginations for decades. No one can predict what England’s fate might have been had they not stood steadfast (as they are said to have done) against Saxon invaders. Although, if the Scots are to be believed, Arthur wasn’t British at all, but one of their own. And he finds mention in Welsh chronicles, as well.
So famous is the legend of King Arthur that it has spawned a number of stories. Camelot, Avalon, Sir Lancelot, and, of course, the Holy Grail! There are all the elements of edge-of-the-seat action: intrigue, betrayal, adultery and unmatched valour. As I make my way through England and Scotland, what strikes me most about the fascinating places I visit is how well they fit into those legends: extinct volcanoes and active landslips, lake monsters and ancient stone circles, crumbling castles and towering pinnacles. Although CGI can now recreate these in the studio, natural spectacles have the ability to fire up the imagination in a way that no amount of technical wizardry can. As we retrace Guy Ritchie’s steps, I believe we’re in for quite a spectacle. One the great Merlin would approve of.