Alright, fuck it. I’m doing it. That thing I mentioned a while back? I’m gonna do it. And to that end, I’m gonna devote March to it. So, to fulfill my self-imposed quota of at least two articles per month, before going off to work on this other project I’m gonna leave you readers with a quick mini-review of The Green Knight, which I saw last night.

I think the best way to describe this movie is as an attempt to reintroduce seriousness to Arthurian fantasy. Like, in recent years Arthurian retellings have become clogged with the same Theme Park Fantasy crud that has plagued all fantasy fiction. Hell, the most recent Guy Ritchie movie is just a straight up attempt to turn the Arthurian legends into the next MCU. But The Green Knight takes everything deathly seriously, and expects you to do the same.

It’s difficult, when a kid on their computer can with CGI make a sight more spectacular than anything any scroll illustrator in the Middle Ages could draw, to show audiences something truly fantastic. Something that you can feel in your bones from looking at it that it’s powerful and terrifying and beyond our mortal comprehension. But the movie reminds us that these fantastic creatures and beings in Arthurian tales were not meant to be video game grunts, but genuinely otherworldly entities, and everything we see in The Green Knight is steeped in this sense of ethereal uneasiness.

This ties into the main change from the source material, and the ultimate journey of its protagonist. While Gawain in the poem manages to pass all the tests to his honor with relative ease, “Garwin” (no I don’t know why he’s called that) in the film just barely scrapes by, sometimes even passing on only a technicality, before he finally confronts his test with the titular Knight. But with each test, Garwin grows, before finally learning and turning into the kind of knight he’s always dreamt of becoming.

The film is very slow and moody, and spends most of its time focusing on singular, powerful images to convey emotions, while still having enough sex and violence to never get boring. I think the best way to describe it would be “Baby’s First Andrei Tarkovsky”, and if you’re having trouble getting your friends and family into Tarkovsky films, this might make good material to wean them on before they take the plunge with something like Stalker or Solaris.

Dev Patel makes a phenomenal knight. David Lowery made a phenomenal movie. Please, go and watch The Green Knight. Go off, with your head.