Heath Ledger is William Thatcher, a peasant squire who breaks all the rules when he passes himself off as a knight and takes the jousting world by storm. The only thing that stands between William and his dream of becoming the world champion is the bad boy of the sport, Count Adhemar (Rufus Sewell). Oh, and then there is also the matter of the beautiful damsel that captures William’s heart – despite the fact that they are countless social classes apart…
If you’ve never seen Brian Helgeland’s 2001 A Knight’s Tale and you’ve got an open evening on your calendar with the desire for some light-hearted fun, romantic-tinged and action-packed entertainment, then you certainly should pick this movie up because despite being absolute fluff as a historical period piece, the energy, feel-good atmosphere and just general high entertainment value will certainly not disappoint.
Heath Ledger is as charming and loveable as ever (your woman will certainly be swooning for the most part of this flick) and he is surrounded by some wonderfully over the top comedic performances by the likes of Mark Addy, Alan Tudyk, Paul Bettany and Laura Fraser. Outside of those, you also get a wonderfully sinister performance by Rufus Sewell as the antagonist and the alluring beauty and on-stage confidence of the relatively unknown Shannyn Sossamon.
Certainly, the plot is not particularly complex or twisted or anything out of the ordinary (apart from the deliberate effort of not sticking firmly in the set Middle Ages period), but it is most definitely satisfyingly fleshed out enough so that the movie doesn’t come across as only a silly action-packed jousting movie and at the same time manages to craft a bunch of characters which you as the viewer like and actually do care about.
The tale moves swiftly and the contemporary classic rock songs like Queen’s “We Will Rock You” and Thin Lizzy’s “The Boys are Back in Town” aid in firmly taking you out of the period piece mindset and instead brings the Middle Ages to the contemporary you and in the end, A Knight’s Tale is a delightful exercise in feel good romance, action, comedy and just plain silliness. Lots of fun and certainly worth the look, but expect a lot of flying balsa wood.
A lot of balsa wood.
Related link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A_Knight%27s_Tale