A Knights Tale: A Movie Review
The first time I sat down to watch this movie (I have since seen it many times, and I like it more each time I see it), I expected to see a serious story about a man who goes from being a peasant to being a knight, something unheard of in those days. And it was, sort of. By sort of, I mean I didn't expect to hear the music of Queen at a jousting tournament, or have a period dance number turn into a rock number. I was taken by surprise, I must admit, and yet, as a huge fan of Queen, I have to confess to "Rocking" out with the rest of the audience...And enjoying myself. And I was surprised to find myself enjoying the dance number turned rock number as well...Somehow they managed to combine the two so it still worked for the period it was meant to be in.
What I really loved about the movie was its message that courage is not always about fighting bad things...sometimes it is about staying true to yourself, about doing the right thing even when everyone else says you should back down...or run away. In this story William, played by Heath Ledger, is a young man, a peasant, who dreams of being a knight. such a thing is unheard of. Only those born into noble families qualify to be knighted...never peasants. But Williams father encouraged his dreams, and even found an open minded knight willing to train William as a squire. When William had grown into a young man, that knight received a fatal blow in a jousting tournament and died, but rather than quit, William donned the knights armour and finished the tournament in the knights stead...and managed to win. He then convinces the other two squires to help him train so he can fight as a knight in jousting tournaments.
William begins to live his dream. As far as he is concerned, he IS a knight. And to see him, he acts more noble than some born noble. When his secret is discovered, he refuses to run, even though those who love him plead with him to do just that. He IS a knight, He should not have to run. He cannot run. To run would be the act of a coward and to say that he was a liar and never a knight and that is something he simply cannot do...It would be to deny his very existence. Knowing he faced humiliation and imprisonment and being stripped of everything, he would still face that as a knight then deny it and run...To me that is courage.
In the end he is allowed to show courage of another kind as well...when he jousts against his enemy and his enemy uses a foul trick and William must either quit or continue jousting without his armour...Rather than forfeit to his enemy, he faces him without his armour.
This truly is a must see movie, both for the content and for anyone who is a Heath Ledger fan. It is a shame that he is no longer alive...I think he was a terrific actor.