Given most of the films released during this period have consisted of fantastic cinematography and special effects but have by no means had a script worth much at all, “A Knight’s Tale” is a refreshing break.
The film is by no means fantastic and along with its many strengths is coupled with just as many flaws. However it does succeed in dusguising those many flaws with a very intelligent, witty, fun, un-complex and suprisingly emotional script. When the film opens to the soundtrack of “We Will Rock You” by Queen one can be excused for thinking they walked into a B-Grade film, however this unsightly blemish at the beginning of the film is a forgiveable attempt at modernisation given the scenes that follow directly. Besides the poor musical opening it still manages to suck you into the story of a servant boy with fantastical asperations to be a knight. Although perhaps I would of appreciated a proper score instead of modern songs sampled throughout.
The characters are relationship based and hold up very well when interacting with each other. however when each characters makes personal descisions they seem to lose continuity. William is highly motivated to make money by winning tournaments but somewhere along the line he becomes very selfish and that does not suit the character that had been developed from the start. None the less I am being very picky and certainly these characters hold up better than most anything seen this year!
The subtle approach of the script really gave the “love” angle of the story all the base it needed to develop into a good level of anxeity for the viewing audience. Not knowing exactly how these characters operated together and given the many small but interesting interactions they had left enough room for ambiguity in thinking about what would happen next. Whilst still predictable the story managed to make you think about what was happening right there and then rather than waiting for the ineviatable. A trait most films often lack and consequently cause people to be unimpressed with storyline developments. Instead this film whilst being no different to most universal plots was alot more satisfying.
As for the action, all I wanted to do was go and joust after watching this film! Not only was it accurate but it managed to modernize the sport without being corny, unlike the musical opening to the film. We had everything from tactics to light weight armour, from qualifying rounds to the World Championships. The sport back then was truly not executed in the same vain as the film implies but the modernisation allows us to be more comfortable with the events taking place and hence provides even more satisfaction. Besides there is nothing more exciting than watching two men belt each other! At least this time sword fighting was portrayed very accurately!
Overall the film succeeded in providing a simple story of a servant turned night with everything from action to romance without losing any self respect. Hollywood can learn from the intelligence of this film, that special effects and expensive cinematography are not the most paramount elements of a film. This film may not rock you, but you will enjoy it!