Dev Patel, Alicia Vikander, Joel Edgerton
‘The Green Knight’ is an adaptation of the Arthurian story ‘Sir Gawain and the Green Knight’, King Arthur’s reckless and headstrong nephew, who embarks on a daring quest to fight the titular Green Knight, a gigantic emerald-skinned otherworldly being and tester of men. Gawain is tasked one year after his encounter with The Green Knight to find him again, but will he be able to survive the journey to take on the nobility of becoming a Knight.
Dev Patel is incredible as Gawain. You are completely engaged with and rooting for him on his quest, and the way Patel chooses to portray this character is both naive, charming, and bold. Alicia Vikander has some incredible scenes as well, playing two different characters both in Gawain’s past and on his quest. There’s a fantastic dinner scene between Vikander, Patel, and Joel Edgerton’s characters that you wouldn’t find in any new modern King Arthur story, and it will be played in her best actress nomination reel this year no doubt.
There are multiple side quests inside Gawain’s journey that each serve as their own mini story– much like Monty Python and The Holy Grail. One scene no doubt will feel reminiscent of the Monty Python comedy that director David Lowery has stated is one of his favorite medieval films, as well as the film ‘Willow’, which also has a visual homage in ‘The Green Knight’.
A24 & David Lowery made bold and strong choices with the tone of ‘The Green Knight’. This is skewed more towards a horror film mixed with adventure, something somewhat explored in fantasy epics like ‘Game of Thrones’, but packed into a neat 2 hour runtime. There is incredible cinematography, stunning practical effects, sound design, and pacing. This is a modern classic that has raised the bar in a way that A24 can only do, and moving forward I would love to see the studio dedicate more and more of a budget to creators like David Lowery.
Overall, ‘The Green Knight’ is masterfully crafted. Dev Patel is a revelation. If you are unsure about checking this out please go in with an open mind and you will be rewarded with an incredible journey, and the weirdest addition to your holiday movie collection.