If you’re looking to experience Arthurian lore, mystery, intrigue and Dev Patel all in one beautifully crafted film, then The Green Knight is surely a piece of cinema that you have to add to your must-watch list as soon as possible. Not only does the film allow viewers to bear witness to yet another powerful performance from Patel, but is also a visual and visceral experience unlike any other.
The Green Knight follows Gawain (Patel) on a journey. It’s hard to describe the kind of quest Gawain is on, as it’s one that is truly peppered with an abundance of life’s adventures. From the very beginning, it is clear that Gawain is trying to find his place in the world. As the nephew of King Arthur, everyone expects great things from him and on Christmas morning Gawain returns to Camelot to attend a feast at the roundtable.
During the celebrations, the Green Knight enters the court and asks if any of Arthur’s knights are up to a task. The task is for any of the knights who believe they would be able to land a blow and would gain his green axe if they were able to complete this challenge. However, in one year, whichever knight took on the challenge would have to venture to the Green Chapel and receive an equal blow in return. Many of the knights are understandably confused but Gawain decides to take up the challenge. As the next year commences, Gawain’s story of defeating the Green Knight spreads throughout the land. But as Gawain’s notoriety grows, so does the ticking of the clock that signifies Gawain’s reunion with the Green Knight.
Much of Lowery’s The Green Knight is something that is experienced through the film’s visual threads and beauty. There is not one scene throughout the movie’s entirety that is not pleasing to the eye. Everything is captured beautifully and even if this film were to have zero dialogue, the audience could still be held captive. Not only does the beauty capture the viewer’s attention, but the storytelling does too. After seeing the trailer, many likely went into the film believing it to be one thing and leaving the theatre to see that their expectations were something very different from reality.
The Green Knight thrives with its intrigue and suspense. While the tale might not have sprawling fight sequences with knights clashing left and right, it does contain several battles – mainly Gawain’s battle with himself. Patel’s performance throughout the movie gets better and better as the film goes on. Patel hones in on Gawain’s struggles which include his feelings of inadequacy and wondering whether or not he will live up to the greatness of his family tree, and if he will accept and give into love. Patel is pitch perfect through all of Gawain’s ups and downs and makes The Green Knight all the more compelling. In addition to Patel, every single actor in the film tackles their characters head-on and not only adds to the film but Gawain’s journey as a whole.
During its just over two-hour runtime, The Green Knight easily became one of my favourite films of the year. Although The Green Knight is different than what one might have expected, it solidifies its greatness with powerful performances, stellar storytelling and elements that left me still thinking of the movie days after I had the pleasure of watching it. I sincerely hope to see it make a triumphant return during awards season because it is ever-so deserving.
by Britany Murphy