The Green Knight

The Green Knight ★★★★

Being that it is leisurely paced and light on plot, describing David Lowery's arthouse Arthurian legend The Green Knight as one of 2021's most fun films sounds strange. Walking out of the cinema with a wide grin on my face, however, that is exactly how I felt. As King Arthur's brave nephew Gawain, Dev Patel receives by far the best role of his career. The film chronicles Gawain on a Christmastime hero's journey to face a supernatural giant known only as the Green Knight, whom he unwisely decapitated a year prior, knowing full well that the rules of the Knight's "game" meant that he would receive an equal wound when the time comes.

The Green Knight is technically flawless, presenting a sumptuous banquet of medieval imagery, Oscar-worthy sound design and the best cinematic fox since Antichrist. Alicia Vikander once again impresses in a mysterious, alluring role. Lowery took advantage of the film's COVID-impacted release delay to re-edit it, and although it still drags somewhat in its middle portion, the meticulous affection that went into his labor of love is so evident on screen. The final act is an astonishing sequence of visual and emotional beauty, achieving the degree of catharsis found in the likes of The Last Temptation of Christ or First Reformed. After every wild occurrence in The Green Knight, it chooses to end on the ultimate one-liner. I laughed and laughed.

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