Of knight's and shining armours
Who says that only Hindi cinema apes Hollywood?
A Knight's Tale proves otherwise. A typical revenge-and-redemption saga set in the medieval times, this film has all the ingredients of a typical Hindi film potboiler.
The story centers around Europe's favourite sport in the 14th century -- jostling. Played exclusively by knights, the game was about two players racing towards each
other at full speed, trying to knock the other over with his lance.
A Knight's Tale does not have much of a story.
William (Heath Ledger) yearns to be a knight, trying to make his mark in the arena. Being the son of a poor thatcher, his dream is almost impossible.
Luck favours him. He replaces a knight in a jostling tournament and wins.
He gets a brainwave that if he trains as a knight, he can become a gold mine by winning tournaments and selling the gold prizes. His plan works.
Sir Ulrich (as he renames himself) becomes a favourite in the ring. Soon enough, he falls in love with Jocelyn (Shannyn Sossamon), who is pursued by Count Adhemar (Rufus Sewell), an expert in jostling.
Does William defeat Adhemar in the game? Is his true
Like you can't guess already!
A Knight's Tale , at times, is too filmy. For instance, how can a poor man learn the tricks of jostling within a month, and then go on to defeat some of the best and most experienced knights, who have been playing the game all their lives?
The jealousy between William and Adhemar is foolish. True, both want to win the love of Jocelyn. But Adhemar never shows his love for her. And if it was just a case of having her, it's strange that he didn't use his wealth and power to get rid of William.
But once you get past the central conceit, Helgeland's plot just slips into a rut.
The highlights of the film are its well executed action scenes. The jostling
sequences leave you at the edge of your seat.
Aussie bloke Heath Ledger has turned in a good performance. He has the best-etched character among everyone in the film. His best friends--soft-hearted Roland (Mark Addy), hot-headed Wat (Alan Tudyk), raise questions in your mind.
For instance, why do their lives revolve around William? At first, you think it's the money.
But, in the latter half of the film, they seem so indifferent to it.
The music in the film is great, with songs like the Queen classic We will rock you. Though to watch soldiers and old fashioned women head banging is strange.
A Knight's Tale is not a film to die for. But it's worth the price of that bag of popcorn.