The Green Knight is an epic, medieval, sword and sorcery film, based on a 14th-century Arthurian poem that you have most-likely never heard of and will probably never read. You have never seen anything quite like this stunning movie, and that’s mostly a good thing.
Written for the screen and directed by David Lowery (The Old Man & the Gun), this story is rather the opposite of the classic hero’s journey, and I won’t get into the why of that or spoil anything; you’ll have to discover this on your own.
I believe that Lowery may have been partaking of some magic elixir while writing his screenplay – and a little of that elixir might also help you to cope with what is (sure to be) the controversial final act of this film. I loved it up until, well, I’m getting ahead of myself.
It’s Christmas and a wannabe knight, with issues, Gawain (Dev Patel), is called to his king’s side, where he soon finds himself facing off against a Swamp Thing like creature called, you guessed it, the Green Knight.
Gawain defeats the monster, but he’s now obligated to meet the thing again on its own turf on the same day the following year. Will this would-be Knight squander his time or make full use of his chance to become an honorable man and defender of the realm? Two-hours of amazing eye-candy and weird adventure will get you to that answer.
The film also stars Sean Harris as the benevolent King; Sarita Choudhury as Gawain’s witchy mother; Joel Edgerton as the lord of a far-off hidden castle; Barry Keoghan as a smartass, scavenging thief; and Alicia Vikander as a seductive temptress. (Oh and there is also an actual fox as well.)
If you’ve been hankering for an unusual and original fantasy film, The Green Knight, is unique and jaw-droppingly incredible… all the way up until it’s not. I want its final act to grow on me, and maybe it will, but for me, for now, its ending keeps it from being a masterpiece.
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