Thursday, July 29, 2021

The Green Knight - Movie Review

The Movie: The Green Knight

The Director: David Lowery

The Cast: Dev Patel, Alicia Vikander, Joel Edgerton, Sarita Choudhury, Sean Harris, Kate Dickie, Barry Keoghan, Ralph Ineson

The Story: A fantasy re-telling of the medieval story of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight.

The Review:
I really didn't know what to expect when I sat down to watch this movie, I didn't know the story or the legend or anything about it. The one thing I did know is that I like Dev Patel and this fantasy period piece seemed like a great vehicle for his ever growing star power. Before watching the movie, I wasn't really familiar with who the director David Lowery is and, after watching and seeing his catalog of films it all starts to make sense as to why this particular film didn't do much for me. He directed Ain't them Bodie's Saints which I completely forgot about and A Ghost Story, the one other film I have watched of his, didn't do anything for me at all.

As I was saying, I didn't really know what to expect with this movie and, as the story unfolded it became very apparent that you really have to go into it with the intent of sifting through metaphors and clues and history that you probably should have known or studied up on to really get a full appreciation of what the director is trying to accomplish. If you're into the director and/or that type of storytelling, you're going to dig this but for me, I wasn't impressed at all. There are bits and pieces that I actually really enjoyed and the overall element of a fantasy story got my attention, at least at the beginning.

This is like one of those random Tolkein stories tucked far away in the depths of Middle Earth lore that no one is interested in, except for the hardest of hardcore fans, because it's so far off the beaten path and involves characters that only have vague connections to the more essential and well known characters of that world. A lot of this comparison comes from how the movie looks, it's very much built like Peter Jackson's vision of Middle Earth which is actually pretty cool. I like the look of the mysterious Green Knight and the overall design of the characters and settings so it does have that going for it.

The story is a fable and mystical tale told in ways that to me were more confusing than engaging and I really had a hard time keeping my brain focused and wanting to continue the journey. To add to the confusion multiple characters play multiple roles in the movie with Alicia Vikander being the most prominent although, after giving it some thought, I think there are different realities at play which allows for this to happen. That being said, it wasn't nearly interesting enough to make me really want to think it through and figure it all out. I love Alicia Vikander and everything she does including both her performances in this movie but the characters easily get lost in all the stylish story telling styles at play. Id this had been a more straightforward adventure story with some fun action thrown in, it would have been a much better experience for me.

The Verdict:
The Green Knight is a very specific type of fantasy fable that is meant for a very specific audience. I learned that I am not that audience. David Lowery's movie is bold, methodical, and unique but fails to entertain.

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