5.8/10
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12 user 9 critic

De brief voor de koning (2008)

The medieval quest of sixteen-year old Tiuri, who risks his future as a Knight to fulfill a promise, and in so doing discovers adventure, honor, valor and love.

Director:

Pieter Verhoeff

Writers:

Tonke Dragt (novel), Maarten Lebens (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
Reviews
2 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Yannick van de Velde Yannick van de Velde ... Tiuri
Quinten Schram Quinten Schram ... Piak
Rüdiger Vogler ... Koning Unauwen / Menaures
Lars Rudolph Lars Rudolph ... Slupor
Victor Reinier ... Ristridin
Daan Schuurmans ... Bendoe
Raymond Thiry ... Tiuri de Dappere
Derek de Lint ... Koning Dagonaut
Gijs Scholten van Aschat ... Edwinem
Kees Boot ... Jaro
Hans Dagelet ... Warmin
Michiel Romeyn Michiel Romeyn ... Roverhoofdman
Uwe Ochsenknecht ... Rafox
Steven Stavast Steven Stavast ... Broeder Martijn
Jeroen Willems Jeroen Willems ... Tolheer
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Storyline

Thiuri is nearly a knight. He only has to complete one test and he will be knighted. He only has to wake one night in the chapel without talking and without opening the door. Then someone knocks at the door of the chapel and asks for help. Risking his knighthood Tiuri opens the door and helps the guy asking for help. Tiuri has to deliver a letter to a knight in the forest which contains an important message for a befriended king. When Tiuri finds the knight, the knight is deadly wounded and asks Tiuri to deliver the letter. Tiuri hesitates, but accepts the mission. The adventure begins.... Will Tiuri deliver the letter on time? And what does the letter say? Written by Remko de Keijzer

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

knight | letter | sword | ritual | kneeling | See All (10) »

Genres:

Adventure

Certificate:

See all certifications »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official site [Netherlands]

Country:

Netherlands

Language:

Dutch

Release Date:

16 July 2008 (Netherlands) See more »

Also Known As:

Carta para el rey See more »

Filming Locations:

Belgium See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

€6,750,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

€255,383 (Netherlands), 20 July 2008, Limited Release
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Goofs

When Tiuri is riding out of the King's forest, after getting the letter, in the overhead shot he is riding on an asphalt road. See more »

Crazy Credits

Even though the language spoken in the movie is Dutch and the production companies are also Dutch, the cast credits at the end of the movie are in English. See more »

Connections

Featured in The Making of 'De brief voor de koning' (2008) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Too truthful to the book
18 July 2008 | by JoejoesanSee all my reviews

Not long ago De Brief voor de koning - A letter for the King - was voted most popular Dutch children's book ever. The story of Tonke Dragt's book takes place in the Middle Ages. Young Tiuri is to become a knight, but as a last task he must stay the night in a church chapel with three other pupils. They must not talk. They must not leave. They must not listen to anybody. Late at night a voice is heard from behind the door. A cry for help! Tiuri is the only one who dares opening the door. Knowing he will not be knighted the morning after, he still goes out and helps this stranger. He must bring a secret letter to the king from a foreign country. But is he up to the task?

The movie De Brief voor de koning stays true to the book and that turns out to be a bad choice. Things that worked fine in the book suddenly seem not enough to turn it into an exciting movie. As a film the story could have used more tension and perhaps more action. I loved the book. But seeing it as a film... As a sort of road movie most of the scenery looked the same. The locations were beautiful though, but the tone of most scenes was rather dark. Only at the end there were scenes filmed in daylight.

But the main flaw of this movie is the casting. Yannick van de Velde (who did very well in In Oranje) is a rather colourless hero. He isn't helped by the dialogue either. It uses polite Medieval sentences which makes it even harder for the audience to live along with his triumphs and disappointments and deprives it from any emotion. To make an audience believe that a young inexperienced boy can complete a dangerous task like Tiuri does, you'd expect the hero to have something extra. But Tiuri isn't extremely smart, strong or charming. He can fight, okay. But he should at least have a dark side - to ignore the rules to win after all when he's outnumbered. How far would he go to complete his task?

His sidekick is Piak, played by Quinten Schram. He's a young actor known from his two Pietje Bell movies. Quinten doesn't have as much screen time as Yannick, but somehow his relationship with Tiuri never comes off the ground. There's hardly a spark between these two and that's a real shame. His haircut looks rather silly.

Being a fan of the book for so many years I've always imagined that Hollywood would take up this story. The way it was done now - with a small Dutch budget - is courageous. But it does not do justice to the quality of the book. Brief voor de Koning is a nice attempt to turn one of the most popular Dutch children's books into a movie. But unlike a similar project like Kruistocht in Spijkerbroek (Crusade in Jeans) - in which the director had the courage to make some remarkable changes in the story to make a good movie translation - this one is a small disappointment. I say small, because it isn't a bad movie and maybe the fact that I'm a big fan of the book is in the way of a truly objective movie judgement. In Holland it turned out to be a huge hit at the box office.

6,5 out of 10


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