I adore A24! This relatively new film studio has churned out some truly great works of art. They are the studio that released Hereditary, The Witch, and Midsommar. Because of their stellar track record, I make sure to go check out whatever new film they’ve released.
I was intrigued by The Green Knight and while there are great things to be enjoyed within this film, the story never quite comes together. The performances are fantastic, the cinematography is top notch, and the costume design is stunning, but this script just doesn’t satisfy. I guess they can’t all be 10’s…..
The film’s opening is incredibly strong, so much so that I thought for sure there was no way I wasn’t going to love this. It is very unique and chilling, complete with stellar visuals and a voice over that’ll give you goosebumps. After that opening scene, the film continue to wow for about twenty minutes or so and then things slow down considerably. This is advertised as a dark mystical adventure and the film starts out sticking to that premise but then it turns into something else.
The main character’s “adventure” he goes on isn’t all that thrilling or interesting. I mean, sure he encounters some danger and meets new people but none of the events during his journey tie together in a meaningful way. There isn’t a consistent theme and I found myself struggling to understand what all these seemingly random scenes meant. I love unique somewhat odd films most of the time, but this script came off as scattered instead of unique.
I was hoping that maybe once he finally reached his much anticipated destination things would get interesting, but unfortunately they do not. One would most likely assume that the final destination on a dangerous mystical journey would be creepy and suspenseful but it’s not either of those things in this film. I thought the ending to this was exceptionally weak. Without giving too much away, the ending shifts the film from a dark medieval thriller to a sweet drama of sorts.
There are also a couple scenes that make no sense at all and even after thinking for a while about what they might mean, I still came up with nothing. Like I said, one of the reasons I love this studio’s films is because of their uniqueness, but there is a difference between being unique and being nonsensical. I just don’t think this script tells that interesting of a story. If they had kept up the same energy from the beginning, then we would have a masterpiece on our hands.
Even though the script/story falters, there’s still some wonderful things at play. Like I mentioned, the first twenty minutes is near perfection. On top of that, the film is shot beautifully. The scenery is breathtaking and the there are some chilling visuals to marvel at.
The costume design is also top notch. Alicia Vikander’s outfits are particularly stunning. I also loved the design of the royal crowns the king and queen wear, they’re unlike others I’ve seen in the past. The individual performances from the cast members are well done.
Dev Patel does a good job portraying the films lead. There isn’t really a whole lot of range to his character but even still he handles things nicely. Alicia Vikander gives yet another skilled performance here. She has a more interesting character to play than Patel in my opinion and I enjoyed watching her.
The rest of the cast has limited supporting roles but they do a decent job with the little screen time they’re given. So yes, there are positives within this film but by the time it was over, I felt disappointment more than anything else. I feel there was a big opportunity here to create a dark intriguing medieval fantasy with a quality story and that opportunity was missed.
The Green Knight features top notch cinematography, beautiful costume design, and fine acting. Unfortunately, what this film does not feature is a quality story that comes together.
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