A Knight’s Tale

We will Rock You!

The Olympics and the thought of jousting in the Olympics made the choice for this weeks movie very easy: A Knight’s Tale.  This is a oldie but a goodie.  2001 brought Heath Ledger as a squire determined to “Change his Stars” with but a few pieces of silver.

Overall all this is one of my favorites.  Great movie, great plot (though a little contrived) and a fun watch.  I am not sure that jousting tournaments have ever been covered as well in a movie.  Here is a brief plot synopsis:  knight dies, squire decides he can put on the knights armor and joust, squire gets into tournament and meets fair lady, knight eventually fights ‘bad guy’ in last joust, the end.  There you go.  It is simple and straight forward and to be honest that is part of the charm and I think part of the reason that the movie works.

Best Plot Device:  Jocelyn doesn’t understand the rules of the joust so she gets Count Adlhemar to explain the rules.  This is a wonderful way to move the flick along without slowly down the pacing for a long explanation.

The Good

Heath Ledger – Excellent choice for William Thatcher.  He plays the peasant striving for glory like no other.  He is charming and he moves well so he is believable as a knight.  Great actor in a wonderful role.  It is a shame that we shall not see him again.

Alan Tudyk – Wat – One of William’s co-squires.  Wat mixes the exuberance of youth with a touch of humor.  Great role and very funny.  One of my favorite characters in the entire film.  His temper

Mark Addy – I freaking love Mark Addy.  I will watch him in anything.  Go to IMDB, now, and look up his filmography and beginning watching everything he has been in.  Simply wonderful.  And – he has such a great accent!

Paul Bettany – What can you say about this performance – over-the-top, very Chaucer-esque, delightful.  No one else could have played Chaucer in this movie.  The way they allowed him to herald was very akin to the music.  The touch of anachronism was nice.  His performance is almost like a ring announcer had a baby with a carny-barker.  Chaucer threatening to eviscerate the people that he owes a debt to in fiction is one of the best lines in the whole movie.  And does anyone else think he looks like Sting?

A Female Blacksmith – Kate (Laura Fraser) – Love the idea of the female blacksmith that is not taken seriously due to the fact that she is a female.  Great concept and a great addition to the story.  Plus, the armor she makes for him is beautiful.

The Music – The choice to throw in power rock during some of the scenes is fantastic.  The feeling of that music mixed in with the jousting is a perfect match.

The Costumes – Looking for a great primer on medieval garb – this is your movie.  From the peasant to the royal, there are examples of every type of costume that you might have seen during that time.  You even get to see them getting jiggy with it olde school at a dance.  Great costumes for an equally great movie.  They may have gone a little overboard at times with Jocelyn’s costumes but otherwise they were perfect.

The Bad

The Plot – A little shallow.  Very predictable but… again… that is part of the charm.  You don’t have to think very much with this movie.  You can just sit back and watch it.

The Flashbacks – I am not a fan of flashbacks.  There are a couple of them in this movie and I don’t think they really movie along.  We get a little back-story on William but that is about it.

The Ugly

Paul Bettany – I could not think of anything else to say about this movie bad but I think we saw Paul Bettany naked a little too much, lol.

If you are a Rennie, you probably own a copy of this movie.  If not, go find one and buy it, don’t rent it, or find it streaming one of the many places that it is available.  get ready for a fun couple of hours with A Knight’s Tale.