It takes some tact and talent to be able to integrate modern with medieval. But when the opening of “A Knight’s Tale” takes the screen with Queen’s “We Will Rock You” with horns acting as the electric guitar’s solo you begin to think to yourself: this works. I think that this is the charm that comes from this 2001 movie starring the late Heath Ledger.
“A Knight’s Tale” is a story of a young serf, William Thatcher, who “changes his own stars” when his royal master passes in between rounds of a jousting tournament and thrusts himself into his place. William convinces his colleagues to carry on in this ploy and trains to become one of the top knights in the royal games. Through his travels and competing William finds a rival in Count Adhemar, another knight and war commander from a more prestigious kingdom. Adhemar’s snark and bigotry makes him an excellent villain that you just want to see fail in the end. Along the way, William finds love in a Jocelyn, another royal whose background isn’t too elaborated on. The conflict comes when William goes to such lengths to hide his true identity as a non-royal serf.
To me, this is as much as a modern classic as “The Princess Bride.” The characters are so likable and their intentions are so pure that you have no choice but to root for them. The backdrop of the medieval time period serves as a force of nobility and intrigue. The production design supports the characters and setting that helps the viewer understand who is who.
In layman’s terms: watch this movie. It’s a great, entertaining watch. Now on Netflix!