The story of Sir Gawain, King Arthur's reckless and headstrong nephew, who embarks on a daring quest to confront the eponymous green knight, a gigantic emerald-skinned stranger and man-tester.
David Lowery teams up again with A24, the studio that also distributed his previous film A GHOST STORY (my favorite of 2017) to give us a journey of the senses through a surreal and hypnotic medieval tale of unparalleled beauty. Tailor-made direction, intoxicating music and a theme about the becoming of men that is both epic and intimate.
Rather than betting on the spectacular at all costs, the filmmaker adopts a deceptive treatment of the story and focuses on slow-burning effects, blending anxiety-inducing sounds and graphic protrusions in order to spread the impression of a growing nightmare. The more we advance in the quest, the more our landmarks and certainties vanish, the more the idea of danger becomes omnipresent.
Many will no doubt summarize the film as an exercise of style that is too conscious of its formal qualities, but this would be to miss a proposal of a rare nihilism, confronting its protagonist with the limits inherent in his nature without playing him with cynicism. For this role of a cowardly knight-in-waiting, petrified of shame, who suffers from being a man and almost instantly regrets his thirst for a qualifying quest, Dev Patel is impeccable in his nuances, simultaneously provoking empathy and annoyance. We are far from the teenager who made his debut in Skins (UK).
A film of beauty, sometimes bizarre, vague, it wanders to better lose us, we sink again and again into a screen who transform into a huge paintings of legend and quest.
“Do Not Take Your Place Amongst Them Idly.” – The King
A great fantasy drama, a daring quest for identity on all levels, and a visual revelation so neat that we would forgive its few lengths. The Green Knight will leave a particular mark in the genre cinema and will divide for its rhythm and narration.
THE GREEN KNIGHT
Written by David Lowery
Directed by David Lowery Release on July 30, 2021
Runtime : 130 minutes
Casting: Dev Patel, Alicia Vikander, Joel Edgerton, Sarita Choudhury, Joe Anderson