The Green Knight: Movie Review - Reel Advice Movie Reviews

Wednesday, September 1, 2021

The Green Knight: Movie Review

A little bit of fantasy, a little bit of horror, a little bit of mystery, and a little bit of intrigue. "The Green Knight" was unconventional in so many ways but also turned out oh-so-good as a sum of its parts. Its setting may be fantastical, medieval, and rooted on a centuries old poem but the lessons taught in this experience was as modern and as timely as it could be. 
Even though he is the nephew of King Arthur (Sean Harris), Gawain (Dev Patel) has never lived his life with distinction or with  honor. But during Christmas and a feast at the Round Table with the King, Queen and their knights, a mysterious Green Knight (Ralph Ineson) appears and offers a game - any knight who lands a blow will win his ax. But the one who won must travel to his Green Chapel,  return his ax, and he will return the same blow after year. Gawain, seeing an opportunity, takes up the challenge and cuts off the head of the Green Knight. Mow after a year, he must finish the game. What fate awaits Gawain and will he be able to achieve an honorful life?   
We'll have to admit, we're not particularly familiar with any of the Arthurian stories so we have little context on the material that "The Green Knight" was based on. But what we found with the film was far off from what you would typically expect from heroic tales. The characters here, especially Gawain, are real humans and ultimately flawed. Even with its highly-fantastical and medieval roots, the film felt grounded and even relatable. Next to its actors which had outstanding performances especially Dev Patel, what impressed us most was the film's cinematography. David Lowery provided a masterclass in making this medieval world authentic in every shot and there are scenes that just made our jaws drop with their nuanced intricacies and complicated idiosyncracies that we're sure required a lot of patience and reshoots to perfect. It's the kind of quality, talent, and love for the craft that just exuded that we rarely experience nowadays. But we must admit, our unfamiliarity with the tale probably had us struggling to keep up with the film's narrative from time to time. And we could imagine how the unconventionality of the film could easily turn away viewers who expect a more straight-forward approach to their films. Overall though, "The Green Knight" was a film that completely shook us in ways we could never have imagined. Emotionally, narratively, and even technically, this was simply amazing.   
Rating: 4 and a half reels





Why you should watch it:
- more than the stellar writing, what most impressed us next was the stunning cinematography

Why you shouldn't watch it:
- admittedly, it might be too unconventional for some to truly enjoy

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