Last night, as there was nothing better on TV, we settled down to watch a DVD. The film we chose was “Excalibur”, an epic retelling of the Arthurian legend.
The film begins with a battle: Uther Pendragon, father of Arthur, fights the Duke of Cornwall to try and unite the land. However, with the fighting bringing no clear result, a truce is proposed, resulting in the 1977 Lib-Lab pact. This doesn’t last long, with King Uther being killed and the country ambling along on leaderless. However, before he dies, Uther fathers a son, Arthur, who is adopted to keep him safe from harm.
Arthur learns his true identity by drawing the Excalibur from a rock. He becomes King and marries Guinevere, bringing prosperity to the country through a regime of fiscal prudence and the elimination of boom and bust. Along the way, he fights but then makes peace with Sir Launcelot, later being heard to say “I agree with Lance” with alarming regularity. However, along with prosperity comes complacency and a worrying increase in borrowing, ultimately leading to a credit crunch. He is also tricked into fathering a son, Mordred, by his half sister Morgana.
Guinevere falls in love with Sir Launcelot after seeing him on the first televised leader’s debate. Although the infatuation doesn’t last long, with Launcelot leaving to wander the country and rave about electoral reform, Arthur is a broken man. He withdraws from Guinevere and the world, and refers to people that he meets as bigots behind their backs. However, Sir Percival saves King Arthur by rediscovering the secret of the Holy Grail (“over the economic cycle, the Government will borrow only to invest and not to fund current spending”).
King Arthur’s army fights Mordred’s, with Sir Launcelot returning to Arthur’s side. Unfortunately Launcelot dies in battle, having never fully recovered from the fact that his pre-election popularity was not translated into votes at the ballot box. Arthur is also mortally wounded by Mordred, but manages to survive just long enough to kill Mordred with Excalibur.
At least, I think that’s what happens…
(We did actually watch Excalibur at the weekend – good film, but it seemed to last even longer than election night!)