The Green Knight: worth a watch


Adam Tumino, Sports Editor

David Lowery’s “The Green Knight” was the first filmgoing experience for me in nearly two years, and what a wonderful return to the movie theater it was. From the opening frame, “The Green Knight” dedicates itself to creating a visually interesting world, and it soon becomes evident that the film will focus more on atmosphere than plot, an approach that Lowery and his team pull off wonderfully.

This is not an action or adventure movie.

There are no grand castles or sweeping battles.

You can count on one hand the number of times a weapon is swung.

Based on a 14th Century chivalric poem, “The Green Knight” tells the story of Sir Gawain, the nephew of King Arthur and also one of his knights. In the film’s opening sequence, Gawain is attending a Christmas banquet at Camelot when an imposing figure arrives.

This is the Green Knight.

He is half man, half tree, and when he moves it sounds like leaves blowing in the wind and large tree branches creaking and breaking.

The Green Knight challenges the court to a game: he will allow someone to land a hit on him if they agree to have the same blow delivered on them one year later.

Gawain steps up and beheads the Green Knight, who then picks up his head and rides off laughing. The story then advances a year, and the bulk of the movie follows Gawain on his journey to make his appointment with the Green Knight.

His trip is full of odd challenges and encounters, including a companionship with a mysterious fox, a run in with bandits and a night in a seemingly abandoned cabin.

As he gets closer to his rendezvous with the Green Knight, Gawain’s journey gets more and more dreamlike, getting to the point where it is necessary to question what is real and what is not. It also features wonderful pieces from acting, including from the Dev Patel as Gawain and Barry Keoghan in a supporting role as a bandit Gawain encounters on the road.

Both actors deliver great work, with Patel carrying the film throughout and Keoghan effortlessly stealing his scene.

Alicia Vikander is also effective in a supporting role, as is Joel Edgerton as the lord of a remote manor where Gawain stops to rest. Andrew Droz Palermo’s cinematography delivers countless memorable shots and Lowery’s vision remains intact from beginning to end.

“The Green Knight” is heavy on symbolism and its ambiguous ending will frustrate many viewers, but anyone looking for an engrossing and masterfully crafted film should take note.

Adam Tumino is a senior journalism major. He can be reached at 581-2812 or at [email protected]