A Man With a Horse and a Stick

A man can change his stars. That is what William’s father taught him from a young age in the movie A Knights Tale. Released in 2001 A Knights Tale was written and directed by Brian Helfeland. The story is about a young man (William) who always dreamed to be a knight, unfortunately he was not born a noble. There is the action of the jousting, the hate for an enemy, drama with the false nobility papers, the romance of a love interest, and the laughter of comedy. While it had an entertaining plot, the actors are really what made it good.

Heath Ledger played William the main character. Other main characters include Shannyn Sossamon as Jocelyn, Paul Bettany as Geoffrey, Rufus Sewell as Count Adhemar, Laura Fraser as Kate, and Alan Tudyk as Wat. Heath Ledger was exceptional, as he tends to be. Ledger seemed to capture the optimism of a young man becoming his own in the world. I have seen Health Ledger in several movies, 10 Things I Hate About You, The Dark Knight, The Patriot, and have no bad things to say about any of his performances in those movies. Good actors have the extraordinary talent of becoming the characters they are cast as. They all do it differently and have varying levels of success. Ledger is very successful at it. Unlike the other movies Ledger has been in where a specific genre is apparent, A Knights Tale does not fall into an obvious category. This could have had an affect on its financial success and popularity. When I hear about a new movie, I typically want to see it or not depending on if I like the genre of it. Even though A Knights Tale doesn’t have that genre distinguishment, it still is an enjoyable movie. Casting Rufus Sewell for Count Adhemar was smart; his dark looks contrasted nicely with Ledgers lighter complexion and blonde hair. As the “bad guy” in the movie it was commendable casting him to create that contrast. Also he was not unattractive as movie villains sometimes are. Sewell captured the brooding of a young villain that was not evil but misguided by how he was brought up. The script and plot combined with the acting made it an enjoyable movie to watch. There was the right amount of drama mixed with action.

“A man can change his stars” is said throughout the movie, it is the major theme. Fantasy movies often follow themes relating to destiny and free will. Will’s dream was being a knight. People said it could not be done because stars don’t simply change and common people don’t simply become knights. Destiny is a complex idea where one result is what is meant to happen no matter what. If we have destinies then how do we have free will? The theme of anything is possible when you put your mind to it is common, some may even say overused, but the message is still uplifting. However you say it its an uplifting message that can be applied to almost everything.

While there was a main theme to the movie, this is more of a watch for enjoyment movie rather than a movie for serious people wanting to watch a serious movie about serious things. The plot, the script, the acting; all entertaining. This movie may not have been a work of art, but it was not a waste of 2 hours and 24 minutes.

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