For several months now, I’ve heard very good things about The Green Knight. Unfortunately, it got lost in the mix during the pandemic and then the game began of just how much I was willing to pay to stream it since the theaters were no longer an option. The answer is that I wasn’t willing to pay very much at all. Nothing, in fact. That’s not a slight against the movie. I’m just a little cheap.
Anyway, at long last, The Green Knight became available for free on DVD at my local library. I put it on hold the day it was due to arrive.
Finally, I saw The Green Knight.
The verdict: pretty good, but a little weird.
I don’t mind weird; not at all. But this one … it’s a little weird.
For those unfamiliar, The Green Knight is about Gawain, nephew to King Arthur, a young man who must face The Green Knight again one year after being allowed to strike the knight down. The movie follows Gawain as he undertakes his journey in search of The Green Knight as things get pretty weird. Gawain finds The Green Knight, and then things get even weirder. I won’t lie, the ending confused the heck out of me.
But, even with that begin said, I actually enjoyed The Green Knight. It’s eerie, grotesquely beautiful, well filmed, interesting, and–as already established–weird. Dev Patel’s Gawain is vulnerable, understated, and charismatic. The Green Knight himself is mysterious, creepy, and noble. You’ll notice some stars currently breaking out such as Erin Kellyman and Barry Keoghan, as well as some established names like Joel Edgerton and Alicia Vikander, all of whom play fascinating characters in their own right. In fact, until after doing a little research, I didn’t even realize that Vikander played TWO characters in the movie!
I’m not sure The Green Knight is for everyone. Even though we’re led to believe we’re looking at King Arthur, Queen Guinevere, Morgan le Fay, and Merlin, they are never called as such. The film is subversive in that the knights are not particularly chivalrous and the land is not especially pleasant to inhabit. There are some fantasy elements, but, like Gawain himself, they are subtle and understated.
In the end, The Green Knight is very open to interpretation. Those looking for a neat, tidy ending may be disappointed. Those in search of a unique movie that doesn’t seem to play by the rules might be quite entertained. I fall somewhere in the middle.