The Green Knight

The Green Knight ★★★★★

Is honor merely a thing of the past? Are the ideals of the so called heros from tales we hear as children really something we should look up to? This Knight of the name Gawain takes the classical journey in search of the ultimate goal, proving his worth along the way, defeating the beasts, the foul blows by the enemies around, and fighting the demons who wish to make him of a less purity of spirit. But... David Lowery doesn't really do that.

"The Green Knight" is not called "The Tale of Sir Gawain" or "Sir Gawain and the Green Knight" just like the poem it is adapting to the screen for a reason. One, because Green Knight a is more impressive name of course, and also because Sir Gawain isn't the most typical of protagonists. He is scared of what lies ahead. Not the kind of fear that heros battle and end up winning, he is very human in nature, unlike those we hear on medieval tales. When a group of bandits ambush him and ask him if he is a knight, his answer is no, as he cries, knowingly of what a positive response would mean to his future. And as time progresses, and the wonderful world inhabited by giants, talking animals, spirits and all sorts of entities you would know from seeing the drawings from the Dark Ages, would promise a much bigger fate for poor Sir Gawain, the legacy is not fulfilled. "Is this all there is?" Gawin asks and the audience as well. The surreal decay of time should promise something. But the same Sir Gawain who decided to cut the head of the Green Knight when a game is proposed, a game that implies what you give is what you'll get, is the same Sir Gawain that hears the eerie words "What else ought there be?". Time can't really change someone, it is only yourself the one who can bring the change. Time and old age do not make something else of who we were. It is we who have the power to acknowledge what we've done and who do we want to be.

Does Sir Gawain want to be a man of honour? More importantly, do you, the person watching this film, want to be someone of honour? Perhaps it's the most important question raised by David Lowery's impressive take on the fantasy epic. As for our path leads to Death, and Death is not kind. As we progress to a journey of Death (and Lowery reminds us of that multiple times), we look back. Here are the people who love me, here are those who wronged me, is honour really important if the ultimate goal will imply my farewell? As I watch this film, I am reminded that honour is one of the greatest powers we have at our disposal. Honour will bring those who are good close to us, honour won't do much against those with the evil eyes who want to make us suffer, but as I've said, there is not perhaps something more important than looking back knowing what we've done even though nothing else is to come.

Sorry for the long, and poetic (attempt at being poetic) ramble about honour, this film really did something on me. Can't stop thinking about it. Watching it at a movie theater is simply brilliant, mostly because Lowery uses sound so well here. Every piece of sound is as important as any frame of image, perhaps even more. He creates an atmosphere that really brought me back to a time of magic and wonder that I could only find on my imagination many years ago. And what's more impressive about the film is how he picks a tale from the 14th century and manages to adapt it in a way that feels modern and yet old. It's going to certainly be one of my favourites from 2021. Cinema is promissing to be good this year.

So... is this officially a Christmas film?

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