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Review of First Knight

January 10, 2013

I cannot believe it has taken me until now to watch the 1995 film First Knight. But, last night, I had a couple of hours to myself and so I sat down and watched it, and I am so glad that I did. I really enjoyed this film for many reasons, but, as with most films, it did have some negative points.

Leonesse, ruled by Guinevere, played by Julia Ormond, is under threat by a fallen Knight of the Round Table, Prince Malagant, played by Ben Cross. Guievere has an opportunity for both love and for the protection of her homeland when Arthur, Sean Connery, makes a proposal of marriage to her. She accepts, however, on her way to Camelot, Guinevere and her party are ambushed by Prince Malagant’s men, she survives, but only with the help of Lancelot, an attractive young knight to be, played by Richard Gere. Lancelot and Guinevere arrive in Camelot safely, but separately and all is well, until Prince Malagant captures Guinevere. Never fear though, because Lancelot comes to the rescue, and so begins a slight love story on the side. I don’t want to spoil the rest of the film, but Arthur finds out that Guinevere has feelings for Lancelot, and as you can imagine, this doesn’t go down to well.

The story line is good, it is strong and has you on the edge of your seat sometimes, well I was certainly on the edge of my seat. The acting is equally as good, with a cast of Richard Gere, Sean Connery and Julia Ormond it couldn’t be anything other than good really. I also loved the character of Guinevere, she is a very strong woman, seen by her ruling of Leonesse, but she also turns into the damsel in distress when the evil prince kidnaps her. I like this about her, the fact that you have a strong woman, but she is vulnerable and needs rescuing from the prince by a dazzling young man.

So, on to the negatives, Richard Gere as a knight just doesn’t really do it for me. Maybe it’s because I have seen him in films like Pretty Woman and Run Away Bride prior to watching this, but he just doesn’t fit the knight kind of character. In this film, his acting is good, but I feel the casting is wrong. My second niggling point is the obvious age gap between Guinevere and Arthur. In real life, it is 35 years, now I know love knows no boundaries and all that, and I also know that in historical times an age gap like this was far more common. However, Guinevere is genuinely in love with Arthur and I’m afraid I just don’t buy it. My last kind of general point about the story line is that the whole thing about Guinevere being in love with two men and effectively cheating on Arthur does upset me a little. The character of Guinevere doesn’t seem like the type of person who would do such a thing, and of course cheating for me is a massive no no. I do know the whole story line would not be anything without the love triangle, but it disappointed me a little.

However, after saying that, I did love the film, I could hardly concentrate on anything else while I was watching it, it has most things you need in a film, a love story, heartache and some good battle scenes. So, I would recommend watching it if you haven’t, and if you have watch it again, refresh your memory and enjoy!

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