Saturday, June 5, 2004

A Review of A Knight's Tale

Last night I watched A Knight's Tale on TBS. They cut it a bit, but not enough that the movie wasn't enjoyable. Before I first saw A Knight's Tale, I thought that I wouldn't like it. I have a very low tolerance for anachronisms in films and movies (I find it very hard to watch that TV show, American Dreams, despite my long time crush on Gail O'Grady) and here is a movie that consciously makes use of anachronisms! But somehow the movie works for me.

Indeed, the rock music that makes up much of the score does not seem out of place at all. Of course, then I suppose that the classical scores utilised by most medieval movies are as anachronistic as Queen's "We Will Rock You (let's face it--most medieval music would be closer to "Summer is Ycumen in.")." Even the modern day dance sequence, performed to the tune of David Bowie's "Golden Years," doesn't seem out of place. Even the modern day references are not distracting. For once, I was enjoying anachronisms!

I believe the reason for this is simple. A Knight's Tale does not pretend to take place in the actual 14th century, but an alternate reality of such. It is a reality where rock music existed side by side with the plate mail and corsets, where tournaments were the rock concerts or football games of the day. Even given this it is possible that A Knight's Tale could have failed, but the movie is so well executed that I accepted this alternate reality without question. The script is well written and combines both action and comedy fluidly. For the most part, the cast gives great performances that lends even more credence to this imaginary 14th century milieu. Indeed, Paul Bettany as Geoffrey Chaucer (yes, that Chaucer!) and Alan Tudyk as Wat Falhurst not only give the movie much of its humour, but were so convincing that they let me suspend my disbelief entirely. Brian Helgeland's direction, while not overly remarkable, aids in the creation of a good, entertaining story set in a world that never existed.

A Knight's Tale probably isn't for all tastes, but if one enjoys an entertaining movie that doesn't take itself too seriously and successfully transports one to another reality, then this is the movie for him or her.

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