The Green Knight

The Green Knight ★★★★★

I saw this film almost 90 minutes ago, and I’m still trying to decipher what I just experienced. It was truly an original experience and an experience that will affect other people completely different, but for me it offered a look within a complex character and - in turn, myself. 

The Green Knight (2021) is a spellbinding journey into the 14th century landscape of England and into our main character, Sir Gawain, proposing questions between right and wrong, honor and dishonor, and of what it truly takes to become a knight. This was my most anticipated film of the year, and it completely met my expectations (if not exceeded them). I had read one of the translations of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight in preparation for this film, and I’m glad I did. The Green Knight (2021) wonderfully adapts and builds upon the original poetic ballad (whilst brilliantly separating itself into its own clear and concise stanzas). It not only accurately portrays the style the ballad had, but its style is completely original. Lowery proves that he is a master of world building and atmospheric consistency with this film. I don’t think I’ve seen a film like this one that is able to capture a side of the fantasy genre audiences (myself included) have ever seen before, perfectly encapsulating the mythical, spiritual, and emotional feelings rooted deep within the genre. On top of adaptation and atmosphere, the acting is wonderful. Dev Patel is spectacular in this. He plays a tormented, lost, and afraid, Gawain. Patel brings a nuance and depth that the character of Gawain needs in order to be executed to the greatest extent, and let me just say Gawain is extremely complex. Complexity is a common theme throughout this film. The characters are not only complex (and the performances equally spectacular, notably Alicia Vikander, Joel Edgerton, and Barry Keoghan), but the film itself is complex and it forces yourself to apply the trials and faults of the characters to your own life, and ponder the results of whether or not you’re worthy of certain luxuries you may in fact have. Now this may not be the case for many viewers, but for me it felt as if I was experiencing what Gawain experienced. I not only sympathized with him, but I also empathized with him. I put myself in his shoes and wanted everything to turn out for him, but that’s not always how it works. There will be experiences completely out of your control, choices that define you, and mistakes that you will make along the road you journey. We all have our own Green Chapels we are searching for and we all have our own game we have agreed to play with the Green Knight. Some of us will run away, live with our mistakes and bear the cross we have built for ourselves, but others will face our destiny, uphold our honor, and become the knight we desire to become - or die trying. The Green Knight (2021) is truly a medieval masterpiece, and a film I will continue to return to throughout my life, constantly gaining new knowledge and experience with each viewing, because this film has a lot to unpack and I’m wanting and willing to put in the work to unpack it, and you should, too. 

P.S. Holy schnikies this will be one of my Favorite Films of All Time with rewatch, 100% guaranteed. 

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