The Green Knight

The Green Knight ★★★★★

Sir Gawain accepts a challenge along with the consequences that he must see through to the end.

The Green Knight has been my most anticipated movie for a loooooong time now, I have desperately been wanting to watch it since I read about it in 2019 only for it to have delay after delay thanks to COVID. Then suddenly it finally had a release date for the United States, I was very excited, I thought that surely we in New Zealand can't be too far behind, especially with the film being shot here for some locations, the effects being done by Weta (a NZ owned company) and with some help from the New Zealand Film Commission that they wouldn't leave us behind, but I was wrong... there isn't even a hint of it being released here, no expected date and not one theater here advertising that it's coming soon. This is not one I wanted to miss at the theater! But sadly my patience got the better of me, and being a little pissed there is no foreseeable distribution of the film outside of the US I decided to sign back up on my VPN service and watch it at home.

With all of that in mind, my high anticipation, seeing all the fantastic reviews, and accepting to watch it at home I was equally excited and worried that my experience would be tainted by less than the best quality.

luckily this film was tailor made for me, I loved it, I was engrossed the entire time, it stole my attention with it's visuals, the charm and the ambiguity, letting me process my own meaning from what was being told. A fantasy film with horror elements, drawn from Arthurian lore, this is 100% my jam.

This movie could get by on visuals alone, the sets, landscapes and props all filmed in such beautiful ways, there is a very central and symmetrical theme happening with the cinematography that was very pleasing to the eye. The use of colour becomes more than just visual, it is there for a reason, it means something, the colour itself changed how certain scenes were perceived, notably in the lake as he dives down to complete a quest, the screen flushes with red, Gawain's blood rushing, both terrified and proud of what he is achieving, a sense of ultimate danger is bestowed upon us as the viewer.

Gawain is brought to life by the alway fantastic Dev Patel, he completely lands the charm and cowardice needed for the role, being vulnerable and scared as he learns from his mistakes and warily takes on tasks as part of his quest. The rest of the cast are also on point, Sean Harris impressed me with his haunting performance as King Arthur, sickly and dying but still able to show spark, a light of what made him King and why others rallied hehind him. It seemed a weird choice to have Alicia Vikander play dual roles at first, but upon thinking on it, I thought this may be because Gawain lusts for what what he knows he shouldn't, they are both something he wants but frowned upon by others, he wants this, should be able to have it but his false pride and shame holds him back, they are both a very similar desires that he wishes to have. The mother (Morgan Le Fey) was the most interesting of the supporting cast, initiating the plot, by bringing this quest to Gawain, I feel as if it's a punishment, to keep him away from the brothels, the girl he shouldn't be with and to force him to reckon with the fact that he has no accolades, to deal with being a coward, to show him what honor and/or what shame from not being honorable looks like. She is always watching, always there unknowingly, driving him forward to finish what she put in place.

I honestly could go on and on about the cast, the images, the creatures and encounters with what I perceived them all to mean, it's one of those movies that asks you to find meaning in so much of what is shown and I absolutely love that. The ending is somewhat ambiguous not showing us what we expect to see but without spoiling anything, I think there is a clear conclusion and while the Mother may be cruel, this was just a game and a lesson above all else.

Definitely my favorite of the year and will rewatch many times over, I'm sure altering my perception with each viewing. This may be the best Christmas movie I've seen.

Academy Award goes to the cum rag.

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