Analysis of knight’s tale
This essay will be on a film called ” Knight’s Tale “. It’s a medieval, set in the 14th century, romantic action/comedy. It was written and directed by Brian Helgeland and starring heath ledger as the main character that is also known by another two names, William Thatcher and Sir Ulrich von Liechtenstein. Other important actors and actresses were Christopher Cazenove as William’s father, John Thatcher, Shannyn Sossamon as Joselyn. Also Rofus Sewell as Ademar, Laura Fraser as Kate, Paul Bettany who plays Geoffrey, Alan Tudyk who plays Watt and Mark Addy who plays Rolland.
I will analyse a sequence from this film as a piece of moving image text. The sequence that I will be analyzing is called ” the final battle”. Ademar finds out the truth about William that he isn’t Sir Ulrich von Liechtenstein. William gets arrested for lying about being of noble birth but then the prince of Wales shows mercy upon him as William has once done to him, so that he can keep on fighting in the tournament. Now in a jousting ring, ready to fight, Ademar’s introduction can be heard. There were also lots of people cheering and clapping for him.
As soon as the flag had been waved in the air, they started riding towards each other. Ademar’s lance was tipped which made it sharper. When he hit William he left a wooden spike in his shoulder, so on the second round when they were riding towards each other again William dropped his lance half way through so didn’t have anything to fight with. Even though that has happened, Ademar still hit him again. William was really hurt and his armour had made it very hard for him to breathe. He then decided to take it off and ride without it in the third round.
When he was handed the lance he couldn’t grip it properly and it fell out of his hand. He was in agony but he still wanted to carry on in the championship. William told his squires to tie the lance to his arm, so that he couldn’t drop it even I’d he tried. When he started riding towards Ademar the third time he shouted his name out loud and thrust the lance in his arm so hard that it knocked Ademar off his horse. That meant that William won the championship. This sequence was set in London mostly in the jousting ring. Crowds of people stood around the tournament field and some sat on benches.
The rich and important people had cushions to put on their seats. They weren’t laughing or cheering like the rest but watched intensely at the competitors. Their faces created a tensed atmosphere on the field making the audience feel how serious it all was there. The poor people watched it for fun, they were waving flags around and whistling. You could see William Thatcher otherwise known as sir Ulrich von Liechtenstein getting ready for the fight. He was wearing silver Armour with a white shirt underneath with his blonde hair all scruffy. That shows that William is a good character because he’s wearing light clothes.
Ademar was wearing black armour and he also has dark hair. Usually bad characters in films wear dark clothes and are dark themselves. Positioning of cameras and editing is used to great effect in the ” final battle” scene. It is used to create tension while he is preparing to go in to the jousting ring and while he is fighting. There are lots of close ups on music players and Ademar’s harod while he’s introducing Ademar. Then you can see camera panning around William. Then there’s another close up on people cheering while camera is panning across the whole tournament field.
Then you can see a close-up of Ademar’s helmet and his horse. You can also see a big close up of Ademar’s tipped lance and after that quick jumps from one component to another as they ride towards each other. By their facial expressions you could see what they were feeling at the time, it was very clear and made the audience experience what the characters felt. Before the fight started, you could see by William’s face how nervous he was, he was also breathing heavily. Ademar was being very calm and confident and the expression on his face gave an opinion of how he thought the fight would go, which was of him winning.
As the fight went on Ademar hit William with his lance and you could see the pleasure on his face when William was in pain. On the second round everybody looked worried but not as worried as William. When they rode the third time William pulled a face because he was in agony and screamed his name. He hit Ademar so hard he fell of his horse. . when they went up to him he looked vulnerable because they were looking down on him with smiles on their faces. Expressions were very important in this sequence and had a great effect on the audience.
Lighting has been used in this sequence correctly and has created the right atmosphere at the right times. At the tournament field before the fight began it was all lightly lit to create a happy mood. Top light was used just before the fight because there were shadows, but as the fight gone on the lighting got dimmer and dimmer to create tension and worry. As it got to the final round backlighting was used because you could see shadows forming around them on the floor as they rode. It was also showing that the sun was setting and was close to an evening and the end to this fight.
Soundtrack has also helped to create the right mood for certain times. For example when William and Ademar were riding towards each other medieval music was playing. I don’t think it would have worked so well if they played modern music to go with that moment in the film. It wouldn’t set the correct mood for that part. On the whole I think each of these things has worked well in this film and contributed to the success of this sequence in its own way. I also think Brian Helgeland has thought very hard about what to put where in this sequence and edited it well. That is why the film was a success.