The Green Knight, directed by David Lowery, is one of the most special films of this year. A24, which we know for making films that are far from the classical, has again produced an interesting film. David Lowery managed to grab my attention with The Old Man & the Gun and The Ghost Story. On the other hand, I can’t praise his last movie as much as the other two. The director, who tells the story of a fantastic journey, unfortunately failed to take me into his fairy-tale world. And the problem is only himself. However, I really wanted to be a part of this poem. Although even I don’t like poetry.
Let’s touch on the subject briefly… Gawain is the heir of the king. He is not ready to be a knight, waiting for his time. But the knighthood comes to his door without waiting for him. The Green Knight, who comes to the castle on Christmas day, invites a brave person to meet him for the Christmas Game. Among all the knights, only Gawain, who doesn’t even have a sword, challenges the Green Knight. After defeating the Green Knight, Gawain must find the Green Knight on Christmas Day, exactly one year later, deep in the north, in the green chapel. The road is long and dangerous. Gawain must overcome all of this, should keep his promise and find the Green Knight.
A poetry adaptation, The Green Knight prefers a fairy-tale-like narrative throughout the film, and it makes it very clear in every second that it is a literary work. This was also the main reason for my interest in the film: A knight embarks on an epic journey and tries to reach his goal. On the other hand, the movie could not give me the fairy-tale adventure that I dreamed of. The only reason for this is that the fiction reveals itself too much. Unfortunately, some parts of the movie break the integrity and damage the mystical and fairy-tale universe of the movie. The scene where the camera rotates 360 and we travel forward in time, or the scene where Essel paints or photographs Gawain. Looks too cool yes but brokes the reality line in the story.
Technically speaking, the film is quite strong. But if we look at the film in the framework of A24, it is just a different copy that has all the features of otheir ther thrillers. The goat, the slow-moving camera, the red spot, the tension created by the Chant music… Probably A24 makes directors sign an agreement that if you are going to make a thriller, these things must be part of it. So much so that even the actors in the movie are have taken part in A24 projects before. If the movie belonged to another company, I would praise it for its excellent cinematography. Again, I still giving the credit, it has an impressive visuality. However, because I watched all of the A24 movies, I couldn’t be fascinated by the visuals.
Gawain says he’s not ready to be a knight, but the knighthood is on his doorstep. Throughout the film, many issues that he is lacks of confronts as an obstacle in his adventure, and he manages to overcome all of them, albeit with difficulty. The adventure part of the movie is interesting. As a result, it would have been a great movie if the adventure hadn’t been interrupted by unnecessary scenes. The flashforward sequence of the movie in the finale was so marvelous that I would probably give 10 out of 10 if it had been brought up to that point with an uninterrupted integrity. However, I personally left the cinema unsatisfied, cuz director focused on the visual feast rather than the story integrity.
To sum it up… While The Green Knight might be an epic journey, unfortunately, it’s nothing more than an average movie due to too much involvement in the story in fiction. As someone who has watched the films of A24, it is annoying that the film has exactly the same features as the other films, but when we look outside the frame, there is a magnificent cinematography. If this magnificent cinematography had progressed in an integrated way with the story, if the cinematography had not tried to get ahead of the story, I could have praised our fantastic journey with fantastic interpretations.