Medieval times were a harsh period for people to live in, mainly due to the fact that trying to make a living was pretty much mandatory. But for those who sought out fortune, becoming a knight was undoubtedly the greatest thing ever. And in these times, most people went to sporting events like jousting to keep themselves entertained. The idea of having two men trying to knock each other off is just as exciting as thinking about it. That is where the 2001 film “A Knight’s Tale” comes in, and shows a more modern audience what jousting, as well as knighthood, was actually like. While the film itself is good, that’s not to say that there are some problems with it. “A Knight’s Tale” is an interesting movie, but it does fall into several standard clichés that audiences have seen numerous times before.
The story involves a peasant named William (Heath Ledger), who wants nothing more than to become a knight, despite not being of noble birth. After his master dies in a jousting tournament, William decides to take on the role of being a knight, and starts to become a success after winning several competitions. Along with his crew (Alan Tudyk & Mark Addy), William (under a false name) becomes a celebrity. He even has the opportunity by competing with a more powerful knight (Rufus Sewell), as well. But, can William’s charade be ultimately discovered, or will he defy the odds and prove himself to be a true hero?
“A Knight’s Tale” is worth watching for the action scenes- more importantly, the jousting- as well as the production design behind the whole movie. Everything put into the making of this movie looks pretty incredible; the sets and cinematography look pretty good for a period piece, and the costumes more than definitely fit the time period. Brian Helgeland did a good job at directing the action, and everything that is happening on the screen. In terms of acting, everyone does a good job at what they are given, albeit most of the performances are a bit silly and over the top. Most notably, Paul Bettany, who plays Geoffrey Chaucer, can be a little annoying at times, but I think that’s this movie’s charm. It is a silly medieval movie that a lot of people put effort into making.
However, with that being said, there are some problems with the movie in general that kind of downgrade it a bit. While the story is nice and interesting, it is also very predictable. This goes with the main issue that there are several clichés thrown in to the mix. The underdog who is eventually going to win. The liar revealed. The misunderstanding between our main characters. Plus many more that are featured that would take further explanation to endure. Then there’s the music; while the main orchestrated score is good, it’s the influence of several rock ‘n roll songs turns the experience of watching the movie down a little.
In conclusion, “A Knight’s Tale” isn’t bad, you just have to go through the issues that it has to offer to enjoy a little fun nonetheless.