'The Green Knight' - Movie Review

Gawain (Dev Patel) is a young knight at the court of his uncle, King Arthur. He spends his nights drinking, and in the arms of the pretty prostitute Essel (Alicia Vikander). When the king asks him for a tale of bravery or heroism, he has none - so when a strange green knight barges into the court with a challenge, Gawain accepts. (Should I mention here that Gawain's mother is a witch, who seems to have set all of this in motion? Although like many things in this movie, the extent of her intentions is unclear.) The Green Knight is clearly not human, but this is accepted by everyone present as, well, one of those things. The knight's challenge sends Gawain on a quest (after a year of drinking - it'll make sense in the movie). A wild and hallucinatory quest, full of castles, ambushes, giants, and a talking animal.

I can tell you a bit about the ideas behind the movie after watching it: it's a coming of age tale, it's about facing your own mortality, it's about choosing to live honourably. But could I tell you what happened? Hell no. Director David Lowery has even less interest in decisive story-telling than the well-known medieval tale this is based on.

Despite which ... I really enjoyed this. I prefer firm endings, and this one is left way up in the air. And it's pretty slow-paced. But the cinematography is gorgeous, and the whole experience is thoroughly thought-provoking.