MOVIE REVIEW: “The Green Knight” stars Dev Patel (Slumdog Millionaire, Lion ), Alicia Vikander (Ex Machina, Tomb Raider ), Sean Harris (Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation, Macbeth ), Sarita Choudhury (Lady in the Water, A Perfect Murder), Kate Dickie (Prometheus, Red Road), Barry Keoghan (American Animals, Dunkirk), Erin Kellyman (Solo: A Star Wars Story, The Falcon and the Winter Soldier [TV series]), Joel Edgerton (The Great Gatsby , The Gift ), and Ralph Ineson (Guardians of the Galaxy, The Witch). It is directed by David Lowery (A Ghost Story, Pete’s Dragon ), who also wrote the screenplay.
During a Christmas banquet, a green knight (Ineson) storms into the hall and challenges a knight to a game: take a swing to his neck, and he will return the same blow a year from that day. The King’s (Harris) nephew, Gawain (Patel), accepts the challenge, but grows weary in his travel to face the knight come a year later.
We finish out the month of November with a film I meant to see upon release: “The Green Knight.” It’s a rare, but fun case where you see a trailer to a movie, yet you have no clue what to make of it (and dig it all the while). I just loved its look; the setting, the cinematography, and the Shakespearean essence it oozed. And sometimes that’s all it takes to get me in the room.
“The Green Knight” is the latest directorial of David Lowery, a man I know from the out-there, chilling “A Ghost Story.” Seeing him slip back on the A24 oddball shoes is something I appreciate. Especially when this movie opens to a very “The Witch” like visual, where we hang – for what seems like an eternity – on a bunch of livestock putzing around while a building burns in the background. I knew I was in for something out of the ordinary; and this Arthruian tale is anything but.
Filled with beautiful landscapes, incredible costuming, and plenty of world-building material to sink your teeth into, “The Green Knight” is a spectacle. Its look is by far its strongest asset, and there were quite a few occasions where my mouth dropped. If you enjoy the medieval times (and folktales), you’ll get a kick out of this one. It is almost reminiscent of “The Odyssey,” in that a weary traveller on a mission comes across the bizarre and unusal.
There’s so much that takes place in this, all wrapped up in eloquent dialogue that is portrayed brilliantly by the actors. Dev Patel kills it (no shocker), as do his supporting cast, that is filled with some top-notch players. It was nice to see Alicia Vikander in another flick, having not personally seen her on the screen since 2018’s “Tomb Raider” (which was so-so). She did a phenomenal job, playing two different roles at that. Everyone slipped into the medieval tone nicely.
The execution of this cautionary tale is something that could only come from A24. It’s experimental, twisted, and at times hypnotic. The journey Gawain takes is riddled with treachery, each situation holding something slightly weirder than the last. I was uncertain what he would run into; though I knew he had to face the Green Knight by adventure’s end, the rest was completely unpredictable. Popcorn goers would certainly be apprehensive to it. The film’s storyline rides primarily on the lesson that Gawain has to learn, which mainly resembles chivalry (from what I could understand). His arc is to come from someone who lives in fear to someone of courage. And boy does he face a lot of frightening things.
For the most part, I loved “The Green Knight.” Sure, some of it is hard to comprehend. Heck, the use of titles is a bit too crazy. But it’s a fun, wild journey full of rich visuals, incredible performances, and engaging situations (not to mention the ominous score composed by Daniel Hart). Having been adapted from an old folktale, I can see so many parallels to other stories I read in high school. It’s fun, yet perplexing. Really, my only gripe is the ending. What does it all mean? You got me. And who would take up this game in the first place? As if I know. But I can safely say that I know “The Green Knight” is worth the watch. FINAL SCORE: 90%= Juicy Popcorn
Here is the trailer:
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