"The Green Knight" is a sight to behold thanks to director David Lowery's expertise. The film brings a poetic legend to life in a modern adaptation filled with a type of ethereal dread that some A24 movies are known for.
Gawain (Dev Patel) is the bold nephew of King Arthur (Sean Harris) and Guinevere (Kate Dickie) who is in love with Essel (Alicia Vikander). Similar to the original legend, a Green Knight ( Ralph Ineson) with emerald skin barges into the Roundtable chambers. He requests to play a Christmas Game in which one of Arthur's men must step forward and deal a blow to him, and in return the brave individual will meet the Knight to test his honor at a green chapel one year later.
And so Gawain sets out on a quest that tests his chivalry, bravery and courage meeting thieves, giants, ghosts and more on the way.
The Green Knight | Official Trailer HD | A24 www.youtube.com
There is plenty of Arthurian lore that needs to be unpacked in this film, and Lowery does not hold viewers' hands. Be sure to do research ahead of time, and the film will make more sense. It's a bit difficult to follow at times, and that will lose the general audience's attention. Narratively "Green Knight" is a slog to endure because it's not clear where the story is going after meeting multiple seemingly disconnected characters. But the last 10 minutes are the most interesting scenes of the movie. It finally delivers a message that the film is trying to convey for two hours: a message of courage And the dreary cinematography choices aren't inviting.
Legends Never Die: An Oral History of 'The Green Knight' | Narrated by Ralph Ineson | A24 www.youtube.com
Having said that, the film is visually stunning even though the literal dark filters aren't a personal preference. The visual effects for the fox, shrubs and other nature are beautiful, and some of the landscape portraits take viewers' breath away. Production value is off the charts between the cinematography and the nightmarish, mysterious music and sound design.
Patel is stellar in this leading role, but the supporting roles from Joel Edgerton, Erin Kellyman and Barry Keoghan steal the scene.
For "Sir Gawain and the Green Knight" fans and artsy cinema lovers, this film is thought-provoking. Otherwise the general audience will have a tough time enjoying a visually pleasing film.
"The Green Knight" premieres in theaters on Friday, July 30.
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