FIRST KNIGHT
DIRECTOR:        JERRY ZUCKER
ENGLAND/USA 1995
CINEMATOGRAPHY:    ADAM GREENBERG
MUSIC:               JERRY GOLDSMITH
CAST:                 Richard Gere, Sean Connery, Julia Ormond, Ben Cross, Liam Cunningham
ONE WORD:     The costumes, probably.


The story of Arthur and his knights of the Round Table has had its share of versions, and thanks to the open ness of the English theatre in re-interpreting the classics, some things never remain a constant, like these classics. FIRST KNIGHT, feels like another version of the  same thing, but this time with a Lawrence Durrell twist to it.... wait a minute, is this the same story.?

This version, unlike others, is more from the point of view of Lancelot, the man, than Lancelot the hero and the great fighter for the justices that Camelot may have not realized or understood. Almost all of the knights were Lords and rich people that just about bought their way in. Lancelot was the outsider, and the one who was more interested in being himself, than an idea of himself and his king.

It doesn't make for a better story, although one could think that he is being led through another selfish story, a la Warren Beatty, into the life of a person, this time Richard Gere. And his Guinevere is as elusive as he can be vague and not clear about his words, albeit, if there is one thing that is good here, is that Richard Gere is VERY good with his lines, and it does add a certain level of humanity to the character that we can relate to. He has ability, and he also has the inner sense, and he displays them both, a bit cocky, but he explains it, as not being afraid to die.

This is not a great film, but it is another story of the great love affair that did/didn't happen, in the days of Arthur, even though it was very customary for these relations to exist, as if Arthur's marriage could not have been a political move. We just NEVER seem to get past the damn judgmental phase, and realize that at one time women were just as much pawns in a much larger game, as they are, still, so damn ignored, for their feelings and abilities. Oh, well, another romantic shtick story, not a bad one, that might have dealt with something new, instead just gives us the idea that the affair between Guinevere and Lancelot should have been all along, instead of Arthur getting in the way.

But then, without complications, there may not have been a story to tell, or worse yet, another movie to make. Such a shame. Sean Connery is Sean Connery, and nothing has changed here. Richard Gere is the one person who seems to be getting better with age in his acting, but it is sad to see that he is only using it in soapy dramas, that make him look good, but do not add any depth to his personal ability or history. This is a good step, but will it be enough to make him a master actor..... not with this kind of material, I'm afraid.

3 GIBLOONS

 

   

      

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