A Knight’s Tale is an action-adventure film written, produced, and directed by Brian Hegleland (Conspiracy Theory, Mystic River, Robin Hood, Salt). After the death of his master, a peasant squire named William Thatcher, is fueled by his lifelong dream to become a knight, creates a new identity for himself to become noble enough to compete in the tournaments. It stars Heath Ledger, Rufus Sewell, Shannyn Sossamon, Paul Bettany, Laura Fraser, Mark Addy, Alan Tudyk, and James Purefoy. (Running Time: 134 minutes)(Rated PG-13 action violence, some nudity, and brief-sex-related dialogue)
I’ve seen this film several times, I rather like it. Its not one of those films I can say, “Was one of the amazing-est middle-ages jousting flick I’ve ever seen!”, but truly, I am fairly impressed with its unique and original twist of realism that they show about knighthood nobility and tournament audiences and the respect for a knight’s pride and honor. Also, its difference to add classic rock music in many of the climatic and moving scenes was very bold on the director’s part.
Helgeland jokes in the commentary of the film that he chose 1970s music and hairstyles for the movie because “The seventies are always the same”, regardless of century. More seriously, Helgeland justifies his use of music by speculating that even during the 1370s, persons in the main characters’ age group would’ve enjoyed newer, more contemporary music than something that had been around since their great grandparents were young, and opted to use music that would affect the audience the same way late 14th century music would’ve affected the youth of the late 1300s.
The acting of this film is…so-so. I think Heath Ledger didn’t show his excellent talent until The Dark Knight, but that’s my personal opinion; I have not seen enough of Ledger to completely judge his acting abilities, though. The co-stars did a fine job as well, and you enjoy them most because of their ambitious, friendly, sometimes plain-silly characters. So if you don’t fall in love with their acting talent (which they obviously do have!), you’ll just laugh at their fun-loving characters of the story.
The director/producer/writer Brian Helgeland is a very talented writing; one of those screenwriters I praise. Though A Knight’s Tale isn’t an Oscar winning story (I think), it still is a well-rounded story–with some modern day elements, like I said before–with a swell cast of characters, good scenery, and an adventure that appeals to all ages. Thumbs up for that!
Oh, and I like the music! A plus to this movie!
In the end, A Knight’s Tale did not win the hearts of the critics, with most of the reviews being generally mid-to-low. But it was a semi-success at the box office, grossing $117, 487, 473 on a $65 million budget.
What would I rate this flick? Let us go with a 4 out of 7 stars.
I now own this film, and encourage it to anyone who is in the mood for an adventurous story of a squire rising to a knight, a band of misfits rising to a group of friends, and a young man who was nothing who became a hero. You may want to check this movie out when you are at the library/video store/random friend’s house next time! I’m pretty darn sure you’ll find something in this film you’ll enjoy!