The Green Knight (2021) Director: David Lowery
In a film which purportedly deconstructs traditional notions of chivalry, The Green Knight delivers an odd concoction of patiently unsettling Arthurian quests, while blending incredible cinematography with a plot that goes completely off the rails in the latter third of the film. It felt like a lot of wasted potential coupled with a deliberately unresolved conclusion. Admittedly, I am not the biggest fan of surrealist fever dreams when put to film, but at least I can marvel at the scenery and atmosphere of this film.
Dev Patel delivers a great performance as Gawain, a morally-fallible knight of King Arthur’s court who accepts a challenge to duel a mysterious challenger known as “The Green Knight” (Ralph Ineson). Gawain beheads the knight only for him to arise in laughter and reclaim his head without concern. Gawain is now bound to meet this fearsome supernatural knight at the Green Chapel one year hence for the same fate. While Gawain meets a collection of colorful characters along the way, we’re never quite sure how much of the adventure is real, weaving between mist-ridden dreams and nightmares of a life which would have been. Even his own mother appears to have been a witch who may or may not have orchestrated the whole affair, without revealing too much even the ending leaves much to be desired. While A24 is perhaps the most impressive studio making movies these days, I can appreciate its courage to make movies like The Green Knight, and at the same I can admit that movies like this are not to my taste.