Starring: Dev Patel, Joel Edgerton, Barry Keoghan, Ralph Ineson, Alicia Vikander, Sean Harris, Kate Dickie, Sarita Choudhury, Erin Kellyman
OUR RATING: ★★★★☆
Medieval fantasy adventure directed by David Lowery based on the Arthurian legend. The Green Knight (2021) follows Sir Gawain (Dev Patel), King Arthur’s reckless and headstrong nephew, who embarks on a daring quest to confront the eponymous Green Knight (Ralph Ineson), a gigantic emerald-skinned stranger and tester of men. Gawain contends with ghosts, giants, thieves, and schemers in what becomes a deeper journey to define his character and prove his worth in the eyes of his family and kingdom by facing the ultimate challenger.
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Our Favorite Quotes:'Why greatness? Why is goodness not enough?' - Essel (The Green Knight) Click To Tweet 'Whilst we're off looking for red, in comes green. Red is the color of lust. But green is what lust leaves behind, in heart, in womb. Green is what is left when ardor fades, when passion dies, when we die too.' - The Lady Click To Tweet
Narrator: Look, see a world that holds more wonders than any since the Earth was born. And of all who reigned o’er, none had renown like the boy who pulled sword from stone. But this is not that king, nor is this his song. Let me tell you instead a new tale. I’ll lay it down as I’ve heard it told. Its letters sent, its history pressed, of an adventure brave and bold. Forever set, in heart, in stone, like all great myths of old.
Essel: Christ is born.
Gawain: Christ is born, indeed.
Essel: You a Knight yet?
Essel: Are you a Knight yet?
Gawain: Not yet.
Essel: Better hurry up!
Gawain: I’ve got time. I’ve got lots of time.
King: Where is thy mother?
Gawain: She was not feeling herself, my lord.
King: Then come. Sit here, besides us. Besides me and my queen.
Gawain: That is not my place.
King: No. Then let it be, today. Its owner is away. Who knows when he will return?
King: Good to see you, Gawain. Good to have one’s family by one’s side. One’s blood.
Gawain: Surely your knights have spilled enough blood in your name to bind them closer to you than I.
King: True. But you are my sister’s boy, queefed from her womb. They are not.
King: I look out upon my friends here today and I see songs no muse could ever sing or dream of. But I turn to thee, and I see what? I recognize, but I do not know thee. I say this not in reproach, but regret that I have never asked you to sit at my side before this day, or upon my knee when thy was newborn. But now it is Christmas, and I wish to build bridges. So before we make merry, you make for me a gift. You tell me a tale of yourself, so that I might know thee.
Gawain: I have none to tell, King.
Queen: Yet. You have none to tell yet.
Queen: Look around you, young Gawain. What do you see?
Gawain: I see legends.
Queen: Do not take your place amongst them idly.
King: I thank thee for breaking bread with me this blessed day. And it is blessed, for out my window this morn I looked, and I saw a land shaped by your hands. You have lain those same
hands upon our Saxon brethren, who now in your shadow bow their heads like babes. Peace, peace you have brought to your kingdom, so it is in peace that I now say to you that I am the luckiest here today, because I am amongst thee. I am amongst thee. So before we celebrate the birth of our Christ, let us honor one of our own who has done great things in His name. So a tale, or a show perhaps. What have thee? Who can regale me and my queen with some myth, or canto of thine own purport?
Green Knight: Oh, Greatest Of Kings, indulge me in this friendly Christmas game. Let whichever of your knights is boldest of blood and wildest of heart step forth, take up arms, and try with honor to land a blow against me. Whomsoever nicks me shall lay claim to this, my arm. It’s glory and riches shall be thine. But thy champ must bind himself to this. Should he land a blow, then one year and Yuletide hence, he must seek me out yonder, to the Green Chapel six nights to the North. He shall find me there, and bend the knee, and let me strike him in return. Be it a scratch on the cheek, or a cut on the throat, I will return what was given to me, and then in trust and friendship we shall part. Who, then, who is willing to engage with me?
King: This challenge is thine own? Though my will longs to leap across this table and meet thee, my body will not follow. Surely there is one amongst us here who will meet this knight on his terms.
Gawain: I will do it. I will meet him. I will meet thee.
King: You understand this challenge?
Gawain: I do. I think I do.
King: Remember, it is only a game.
Gawain: Have at me, Green Knight.
[the Green Knight makes no move]
Gawain: Make a move, or I shall make mine.
Gawain: [as the Green Knight kneels] What is this? A trick? Stand up and face me! What do you expect me to do?
Queen: Have courage.
Gawain: Very well. Very well. You laid down your challenge. I accepted it, and I accept it still. Never forget what happened here upon this Christmas Day!
[he decapitates the Green Knight]
Green Knight: [holding his decapitated head in his hands] One year hence.
[referring to Gawain decapitating the Green Knight’s head]
Essel: What did it feel like? What did it feel like when you…
Gawain: Like cutting a melon in two.
Essel: And what does that feel like?
Gawain: Like nothing.
Essel: Were you afraid?
Essel: Are you just saying that?
Gawain: I am here, and he is not.
Gawain: The king lent me his sword, did you know that?
Essel: You held it?
Gawain: Well, I did more than hold it.
Essel: Behold, Brave Sir Gawain, chopper of heads, severer of melons, who cannot get it up.
King: My tooth hurts. Another year nearly gone already. Have you thought what you will do when Christmas comes?
Gawain: Was it not just a game?
King: Perhaps. But it is not complete.
Gawain: You truly believe he’s sitting in a chapel, counting the hours, whiling away the year
waiting for me to come?
King: Well, I do not know. You will tell me. You must seek him out.
Gawain: And if death awaits me?
King: Oh, I do not know of any man who has not marched up to greet death before his time.
Gawain: Why are you holding me to this light?
King: Is it wrong to want greatness for you?
Gawain: I fear I am not meant for greatness.
Queen: May the Blessed Virgin keep your five fingers strong, your five senses sharp. May her five joys inspire you. The five wounds of her son give you fervor. And the five virtues of a knight light your way. Keep thy covenant, young Gawain.
King: And if God smiles on thee, then hurry thee back. Thy seat besides us waits.
Essel: Are you really going to go?
Gawain: Should I?
Essel: I like your head better where it is.
Gawain: I gave my word. I made a covenant.
Essel: This is how silly men perish.
Gawain: Or how brave men become great.
Essel: Why greatness? Why is goodness not enough?
Mother: [referring to the green girdle] Take this now. Wear it about your waist as you go. And if you wear it still when you return…
Gawain: Will I return?
Mother: When you return, you will come with your head held high. I promise, you will not come to harm. And, boy, my boy, do not waste this.
Essel: Do you still fancy me? Do I make you happy?
Essel: Even though I’m here, and you’re there?
Essel: What will you say if I asked you to make me your lady?
Gawain: A lady?
Essel: Your lady.
Gawain: I could give you more gold than any lady has.
Essel: I already have your gold.
Essel: What if I wanted to sit by your side, and take your hand, and have your ear? What will you say to that?
Essel: [as Gawain is silent she replies as him] “Why, yes, Essel. I’d like that very much. You may have my ear, and my hand, and heart. And I will be king, and you my queen. You’ll be my lady, and I’ll be your man.”
Gawain: [referring to the dead men at the battlefield] Why weren’t they buried?
Scavenger: All dead. All dead. No one to bury them. Though you know, nature will do its trick. She’ll suck them in and tuck them tight.
Scavenger: That’s a nice axe you got. You do some fighting with that axe?
Gawain: Here and there.
Gawain: Only there. Here, I’m just passing through.
Scavenger: To where?
Gawain: I go North.
Scavenger: North, oh! North is a direction, alright. Just North?
Gawain: To the Green Chapel.
Scavenger: Are my directions not worth anything to you?
Gawain: My thanks.
Scavenger: I said, are my directions not worth anything to you? I mean, a knight like you could spare a wretch like me just a small, small act of kindness.
Gawain: [tosses him a coin] Here. A kindness.
Scavenger: [after they amush Gawain] Where you off to? A knightly quest?
Gawain: I’m not a knight.
Scavenger: But you said you were.
Gawain: I never said that. You said that. I never said I was a knight.
Scavenger: But are you?
Gawain: No! No, I’m not.
Scavenger: Oh. Well, you look like one.