Directed by David Lowery (A Ghost Story) and starring Dev Patel (Slumdog Millionaire) in the lead role, The Green Knight is a fantasy adventure based on the Arthurian legend of Sir Gawain. He must embark on a dangerous quest to confront a green-skinned stranger and take the ultimate test. Beautifully shot, perfectly acted and wonderfully metaphoric, The Green Knight fits tidily into A24’s roster, showcasing the whole team at their very best.
Written by Becca Johnson
There is not a single shot during the entire movie that doesn’t feel meticulously crafted and well thought out. Cinematographer Andrew Droz Palermo utilises his colours, scenery and characters perfectly to create a multitude of shots that make the shortlist for the year's best cinematography. This matches the set design, costume design, visual effects and original score flawlessly to create an immersive experience from start to finish.
The Green Knight is highly metaphorical and it’s easy to come away feeling like some aspects were not fully understood, yet it is always interesting and inviting. The dated language may be difficult to grasp on occasion, but it is undeniably well written and offers unique dialogue and conversation. Whilst on his journey, Sir Gawain meets many intriguing characters and creatures, faces tests that challenge him in more ways than one and discovers the most beautiful settings outside of what he is used to. This is essentially a medieval, mystical coming-of-age story, and is bound to impress fans of both.
Dev Patel’s previous accolades prove he is one of the most talented actors working today, and his performance in The Green Knight only pushes this further. The character of Gawain is very troubled and flawed yet strong and determined, and Patel manages to portray each side of Gawain’s personality with ease, creating a well-rounded and believable character. The movie also features a huge range of impressive side performances from the likes of Barry Keoghan (Dunkirk), Alicia Vikander (Ex Machina), Sean Harris (Prometheus) and Ralph Ineson as the Knight himself.
The Green Knight, for many, will be one of the strongest watches of the year. The performances are second to none, the plot is interesting and the surreal medieval feel is nothing short of an experience. The cinematography is the movies shining star, with memorable shots creating a visionary spectacle. However, many may not be impressed with the pacing. It’s far from action packed, and is heavily reliant on atmosphere and visuals. The narrative can be confusing at times which makes The Green Knight tricky to wholeheartedly appreciate, but the fact that it demands a rewatch must be considered a positive.