My lords, my ladies…And everyone else here who is not seated on a cushion! It gives me great pleasure to announce the following film! You saw him rock the Dark Knight. He created an imaginarium as Dr Parnassus! He thrilled in the Lords of Dogtown! But before all that, Heath Ledger was a knight, known as Sir Ulric…VON LICHTENSTEIN!
Thank you, I’ll be here all week!
Inspired by “The Canterbury Tales,” as well as the story of Ulrich von Lichtenstein, this is the story of William, a young squire with a gift for jousting. After his master dies suddenly, the squire hits the road with his cohorts Roland and Wat.
On the journey, they stumble across an unknown writer, Chaucer. William, lacking a proper pedigree, convinces Chaucer to forge genealogy documents that will pass him off as a knight. With his newly-minted history in hand, the young man sets out to prove himself a worthy knight at the country’s jousting competition, and finds romance along the way.
How can a film, with a paper-thin plot, cheesy moments and and predictable MacGuffins be so damn good. On paper, this should have been a disaster, and yet, it all came together to form one magnificent spectacle.
From Ledger’s Gouda-infused poetry, to Paul Bettany’s screeching intros and Shannon Sossamon being the worst girlfriend ever, A Knight’s Tale just sparkled, combining heart, comedy and action into one brisk two hour package.
I think that’s another victory for heart and camaraderie in films, because the tale of William Thatcher and his mates is one for the ages. Heath Ledger was much like his character, brilliant on a horse, Mark Addy was legitimately cheering on eastern European actors to shout praise, and to this day, Alan Tudyk’s threat of fonging someone is still hilarious.
And forget what people say about the operatic soundtrack as well, because it just works here. After all, if you had to keep things authentic, it would have been pretty damn challenging to create a proper musical them with hastily constructed trumpets and lutes.
And of course, those magnificent jousting scenes. Each and every single one of them. I would kill to watch this film in 3D again. Imagine every broken lance, every blow and every concussion, properly augmented by that effect.
I challenge anyone to watch this film for the first time, and not walk away satisfied. A Knight’s Tale doesn’t exactly promise you the stars, but it more than delivers in the right areas, to make one solid film.