The Green Knight

The Green Knight ★★★★★

This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

This review may contain spoilers.

2021 Ranked
A24 Ranked

“Why greatness? Why is goodness not enough?”

Gawain is so determined to gain honor to where he ends up allowing said determination to blind him morally and instead selfishly disregards multiple individuals he encounters during his quest — Scavenger, Winifred, etc., — in spite of them being much like himself in ways, thus missing out on multiple opportunities to actually gain honor. It is only when Gawain is given the chance to either stand by his pact and sacrifice himself or live and potentially suffer a miserable and unsatisfying life does he realize that the only way for him to still gain honor at this stage is to do the former. Even noticed this time around — and I can’t believe I missed this initially — how during the scene when Gawain leaves the kingdom on his horse, he outright ignores the children behind him who are just wishing him luck. It’s things like that which further highlight Gawain’s arrogance and selfishness.

In making modifications to the original poem (specifically the ending), David Lowery thoughtfully recontextualizes the tale in a way that both suits this specific interpretation of the original text and also fits comfortably within his filmography. An utterly sublime work from one of our most exciting voices in cinema today, and I eagerly anticipate Lowery’s Peter Pan & Wendy next year.

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