Dev Patel is back with another bang in an interpretation of one of the best poems of Arthurian legend. There were not many expectations about this but as it turned out, it was not an ordinary epic fantasy adventure. The Green Knight puts ‘The Slumdog Millionaire’ Dev Patel in the shoes of Sir Gawain, who was King Arthur’s nephew and one of his knights. The story is inspired by Sir Gawain’s classic hero quest against the mysterious Green Knight played by Ralph Ineson, who is known for playing Death Eater in the Harry Potter saga.
The film received decent initial reviews despite being associated with an overused theme. It is because the director David Lowery tried to make sure the audience gets something different than the adopted mythology of “heroes” in cinema. For starters, it is not a typical white man in shining armor.
The Green Knight is a Visionary Take on Old Literature
The film is based on 14th-century chivalric romance Sir Gawain and The Green Knight but strongly differs from the source material. The original poem portrayed Sir Gawain as a gallant knight who was the purest of them all. However, in the film, he is not even a knight. He is the entitled nephew of the King who prefers to embrace women all the time instead of knighthood. Patel in a leading role was a risky choice since knights were shown as big and brooding in the lore. However, the director made his physical presence the key element of the whole story.
He filmed how a pathetic excuse of a man would rebuild himself into something else after going through a series of bizarre challenges as he takes on the quest to eliminate The Green Knight. Each predicament Gawain would face would bring him closer to fulfilling the Five Virtues of Knighthood as described in the literary context. These virtues are Generosity, Friendship, Chastity, Piety, and Courtesy.
Making of a Hero
The supernatural horror surrounds the entire plot and the main character. The audience must not expect a senseless sword and quiver action and rather a thought-provoking journey that is much slower in pace than the mainstream heroism films. It is because a person cannot become a hero overnight, it takes a lot of self-rectification and soul-searching. Most of the time the main character would be spending time alone or with a pet fox. The actor has done an outstanding job in showing how Sir Gawain deals with internal struggles while fending off exterior ones.
Besides the fresh take on the hero, the villains of this story are also brilliantly menacing. In fact, they are the ones that made a hero out of a shell of a man. The main villain The Green Knight visits King Arthur on Christmas eve to challenge his so-called Knights of the Round Table. He dared them to step up and deliver him a blow if they want to enter the Green Chapel as the reward. Patel’s Gawain steps up in the search of glory but fails and things get quickly out of hand. In efforts to redeem himself, he embarks on a journey through a horrific landscape encountering a string of fearsome foes.
The breathtaking visuals allow viewers to literally pause at every scene and take a screenshot for their next wallpaper.
Joining Dev Patel and Ralph Ineson in the cast are Sean Harris as King Arthur, Kate Dicke as Queen Guinevere along with Joel Edgerton, Erin Kellyman, and Alicia Vikander, who appears in a double role. Another imperfect hero origin story, Black Widow is also worth a watch. The Green Knight release date is 30th July 2021. Let’s see if the audience finds it as exciting as the analysts. Find the trailer of this visual marvel below: