The Green Knight

The Green Knight ★★★★★

Why greatness? Why is goodness not enough?

This is hovering around 4 1/2 and 5 stars for me right now; I may alter my opinion later upon more reflection, but for now, I'll hand it 5 stars. This astonished me on a level that only so many movies within a year ever manage.

Like the story from which it's based, The Green Knight is a twisting morality fable - the world sets out to test and challenge the virtue of our heroic Gawain, played to perfection by Dev Patel. And this test comes in the form of the eponymous Green Knight, who challenges Gawain to a game: strike a blow on me, and one year hence, you will come to me, and I shall return that very same blow to you.

From here, the majority of the story consists of Gawain's journey to the Green Chapel, where he must face his destiny. This is a tale as cerebral as it is exciting, and with only one viewing under my belt, I'm sure there are still many layers left to unpeel, but suffice to say, each challenge and encounter he faces along the way continues to test him, and on his journey he must, through his mettle, form the kind of man he wishes to be, overcoming cowardice and temptation.

After all, the men of legend are not truly legends - but men. With all the vices, weakness, and flaws that come with the heavy mantle of humanity. It's through rising above these weaknesses that they become something great - something good.

It would also be impossible not to mention that this is perhaps the most visually stunning film of the year. The cinematography alone is as stunning as any of the fantastical events within the story, and the atmosphere the film manages to craft is as wondrous as it is soaked in dread. You will see such things, and be overwhelmed in splendor.

The sequence preceding the end is also, it must be said, remarkable - but the ending itself? Those final shots? Sublime and perfect. You could never have asked for more.

My mom's thoughts: "I need to go home and get those 2 hours back. That was horrible. . . I hated it." "What was bad about it?" "Everything."

Drama/Fantasy - 9.5/10

➡️ 2021 Ranked

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