A Knight's Tale
Director: Brian Helgeland
review by E. Ferguson
Early in the film, we are surprised with an enthusiastic medieval crowd clapping,
singing and a little bit of bad dancing, to the hit song by Queen, 'We Will Rock You.'
That is exactly what this movie does to the audience. It will probably get lost in the
dust of the mega-hit The Mummy Returns but, trust me, this is a much better
movie. It is funny, intelligent, entertaining and fun!
We meet a ragtag band of starving servants of a now dead jouster.
They are in a panic, because they desperately need their share of his expected winnings.
So, William Thatcher, played by Heath (The Patriot) Ledger, manages to convince
his cohorts Roland and Wat to allow him to put on the armour, finish the competition,
and attempt to win the needed money. From there the fun has just begun, as William
follows through on his father's encouragement that if he believes, "a man can
change his stars."
Filmed in Prague last year, at half of the estimated cost of a
Hollywood production, Brian Helgeland (maker of Payback and LA Confidential)
wrote and directed this story inspired by 'The Canterbury Tales'. This is the third
American movie for Aussie hunk Heath Ledger. First time actress, Shannyn Sossamon,
plays his beautiful love interest, Jocelyn. Sossamon and Ledger bring sizzle to the
screen with their playful and tender romance. Jocelyn is a decidedly modern woman,
determined that she will not quietly fit into the demure role usually prescribed for
women of the era. An interesting side note, Ms Sossamon landed the role after she
caught the eye of a casting consultant as she deejayed at Gwyneth Paltrow's birthday
The actors appear to have as fun much as the audience does. Roland is
the sensible member of this team as Mark Addy continues to standout in supporting roles
(The Full Monty and Down o Earth). Wat played by Alan Tudyk (28 Days
and Wonder Boys) is simply hilarious with his edgy violence. The heretofore
unknown author of 'The Canterbury Tales', Geoff Chaucer is brought to life by Paul
Bettany (upcoming roles in Morality Play and the Ron Howard movie, A Beautiful
Mind), and he threatens to steal the movie. His task is to serve as William's
heralder at the tournaments and his gift with words provides many laughs. Of course, the
story requires a brooding villain, a role that Rufus Sewell (Bless The Child and
Dark City) seems to enjoy.
However, make no mistake this is Ledger's film. His good looks and
infectious smile, along with deftness at portraying a good-hearted, albeit naïve,
lovesick, would-be knight will have you cheering him and his troupe all the way.
When you invite your friend, I cannot tell you how to describe the
movie, because if you say that it is a movie about four guys and a girl going from city
to city competing in jousting tournaments, it doesn't sound like a lot of fun. But, let
them know the movie is just pure simple, summer fun. It offers an intelligent story
about characters you will like, with witty dialogue and a very modern romance. Tell
your friend to not be alarmed by the idea of a medieval story and the boring music that
usually comes with the territory. You will only have to endure harp music for a few
brief moments, before it gives away to a David Bowie song, along with other familiar
The movie's PG-13 rating is for nudity, action violence and brief
sex-related dialogue. A Knight's Tale is one of the few movies that teenagers
and parents might enjoy together.
Guide to the Movies
compiled by Tony
Lee editor of Pigasus Press
can order videos and DVD releases reviewed on these pages at
home - Web Gateway for Creative Minds
Myths & Legends
Web Makers Tools