The Green Knight (David Lowery, 2021, Ireland/Canada/USA)

The Green Knight is the latest film by director David Lowery. Lowery has had an interesting career thus far, directing arthouse movies (Ain't Them Bodies SaintsA Ghost Story), Disney films (Pete's Dragon), and more commercial fare such as The Old Man & the GunThe Green Knight makes a turn toward the arthouse, as it is a psychedelic fantasy epic based on the 14th-century poem Sir Gawain and the Green Knight. We here at Cinephilic Musings generally liked The Old Man & the Gun but hated A Ghost Story. Unfortunately, The Green Knight falls into the latter camp for us. 

The film boasts a solid 89% on the Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer, but looking closer we see only a 50% audience score. The film is divisive for good reason. Stylistically the film is impressive, and the visuals are something to commend. But this can't make up for the fact that the film lacks in all other areas. The character arc of our protagonist Sir Gawain (played by Dev Patel) could not be called an arc. He merely exists within the world of the film, starting as he began. This is not to say that every character in a narrative film needs to change throughout the film for the film to be successful. But there is a monotony here, a slowness, and a sense of lacking development that truly hinders the film's best efforts. No amount of visual excess can hide this fact. While we were not familiar with the original story, it is clear that even fans of the original story would not like this film, as it takes great liberties with the source material. It is a shame because there is a good film to be made from this source material. Unfortunately, The Green Knight is not that film. 



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