Director: David Lowery
Writer: David Lowery
Starring: Dev Patel, Alicia Vikander, Joel Edgerton, Sarita Choudhury, Sean Harris, Ralph Ineson, Barry Keoghan, Erin Kellyman and Kate Dickie
After being pulled from UK cinemas a couple of weeks before it’s release, The Green Knight has finally received a limited cinema release and a new home on Amazon Prime video. It’s received glowing praise from its release around the world and it’s time for us in the UK to finally see it, either on a big screen, if you’re lucky enough to be near a cinema showing it, or in the comfort of your own home.
The Green Knight is an adaptation of the medieval story, Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, one of the most well-known Arthurian stories. Dev Patel (The Personal History of David Copperfield) stars as Gawain, King Arthur’s nephew, who accepts a challenge from the green knight to land a blow on him, on the condition that one year later Gawain must travel to the green chapel to receive the same blow in return.
Dev Patel is absolutely fantastic in the role of Gawain. He draws you in with a mesmerising performance that keeps you glued to the screen for the entire runtime. The whole film has a hypnotic quality, walking the line between reality and fantasy perfectly and creating a dreamlike world that the story inhabits. It’s a gorgeous film with some amazing cinematography from Andrew Froz Palermo. The whole world looks alive and full of beautiful images. David Lowery is a superb director and has created a completely unique film. It has a sombre tone and a slow-burn pace that builds up. It captures you and takes you into a world that you can get lost in.
The film does venture into very strange territory, with the more fantastical elements. The world created isn’t bogged down with lore, so it’s completely accessible, with no prior knowledge of the story needed. It helps to take most of it at face value. The only jarring moments happen towards the start with names popping up on the screen in quick succession, not giving you enough time to take it in. Thankfully it’s not that important but can make you feel like you’re missing out on something.
Lowery has created an amazing atmosphere in the film. It feels almost like a dream, with overbearing visuals and strange moments. The score, by Daniel Hart, builds on that atmosphere with a loud, and often abrasive, music that at points feels like something you’d expect from a horror film.
The Green Knight is a fantastic dark fantasy, that deals with some interesting themes about legacy and destiny. It’s brooding and absorbing with an excellent central performance from Patel and masterful direction from Lowery. It’s not going to work for everyone, but it is a perfect film to watch and be taken into a new world by.