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The Green Knight (2021) (1 Viewer)

sleroi

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In the poem the Green Knight merely draws a little blood and Gawayne continues to wear the sash as a reminder of his shame.

Because in the post credit scene we see his daughter, and because the whole exercise is intended to test man, my interpretation is that by removing the sash before receiving his blow, Gawayne has passed and the Green Knight probably only nicks him.
 

sleroi

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Also, in the poem,
the Green Knight is Lord Bertilak (played in the film by Joel Edgerton). And, after Gawain gives the Green Knight the sash, it sounds like Edgerton's voice saying "Now, off with your head," but the inflection to me is one of lighthearted banter between friends.

Initially, I was confused about the ending. And while trying to seek out some sort of meaning I found an interview with Lowery where he said he intentionally left the ending a bit vague and that he, his producers, and Dev Patel each had different ideas about what it all meant.

So my conclusion, of course, is in no way definitive, but it makes the most sense to me and I believe it falls somewhere in the realm of possibility within Lowery's interpretation of the source material.
 

Reggie W

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Also, in the poem,
the Green Knight is Lord Bertilak (played in the film by Joel Edgerton). And, after Gawain gives the Green Knight the sash, it sounds like Edgerton's voice saying "Now, off with your head," but the inflection to me is one of lighthearted banter between friends.

Initially, I was confused about the ending. And while trying to seek out some sort of meaning I found an interview with Lowery where he said he intentionally left the ending a bit vague and that he, his producers, and Dev Patel each had different ideas about what it all meant.

So my conclusion, of course, is in no way definitive, but it makes the most sense to me and I believe it falls somewhere in the realm of possibility within Lowery's interpretation of the source material.

Yes, I also heard Lowery talk about the ending. I do believe his intent is to let the viewer decide what he/she believes happened. So, I don't really think there is a definitive answer because he did not want there to be one. I really like this idea and believe that will leave this a film people can debate going forward.

My take is this:

I think that the Gawain character here is really a crap human being. He wants to be something "great" but displays no clue as to what greatness is. He is just rotten. From the second he decides to fight the Green Knight, he is doomed. The king warns him that it is just a game but he does not heed that warning and decapitates the knight. This is a despicable act. Hacking off the head of an honorable knight that is kneeling before you in a gesture of peace. Arthur understands the situation, Gawain does not. Gawain wants to be the successor to the throne. He is not suitable to be that.

He heads off on his "quest" and is presented with another series of tests. Tests that decide what sort of man he is. He is a horrible man. Selfish, lazy, ignorant, and in no way honorable. He fails every test. He has created his fate but snivels his way up to it. To me this is a detestable character, well cast and played by Dev Patel, I think intentionally because it is an interesting idea to cast a likable actor to play a total shit. If you examine each decision he makes and act he commits he is earning his decapitation throughout the film. His removal of the belt at the end is not a final "honorable" act that spares his life, it is just the act of finally accepting his fate. The visions he has before he decides to remove the belt tell him he has no future. He has destroyed his future on this quest.

The Green Knight, who to me is the good guy in this tale, does what he says he is going to do and does so with honor. So, when he tells Gawain he shall strike the same blow, I believe he is going to strike the same blow and in the natural order of things this is removing Gawain from potentially sitting on the throne which is an honorable outcome to create. Gawain, in this fable, should never sit on the throne. He is not worthy of this.

I do like that this picture attempts to get us to go through the story, at least on the first watch, seeing things from the perspective of, well, a bad guy. It probably makes some viewers actually root for Gawain on the first viewing. In the end though I believe the Green Knight is much more the guy that is doing the right thing and eliminates Gawain. I think there are hints toward this idea the entire way. The king looks like he knows Gawain is doomed the second he decapitates the Green Knight. That does make this a rather dark fable but I think it is meant to be with the moral being, don't be a Gawain.
 
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JohnRice

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It seems to me that if Lowery wanted a clear ending, he'd give the movie a clear ending.

I think it might be a mistake expecting the movie to precisely follow the poem. I've never read the poem (I plan to) but I actually have read Malory's le Morte D'Arthur. Yes, Gawain always seems to be presented as a less than worthy knight and hardly courageous. Just a case of nepotism. In the context of the movie, I suspect that

the fact he only finds his "courage" after seeing how badly his cowardice plays out is... possibly... something a little more topical regarding courage. We're in an exceptionally cowardly time, where bluster is confused with courage, and hiding from the results is not only standard practice, but perceived to also be strong and courageous. In any case, I think it's a statement on the true aspect of courage.

Which is essentially just a simpler explanation of what Pike said. However...

I'm not certain Gawain is actually a horrible person. He's just a lazy, entitled glutton. Which refers back to my previous point.
 
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Reggie W

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It seems to me that if Lowery wanted a clear ending, he'd give the movie a clear ending.

I think it might be a mistake expecting the movie to precisely follow the poem. I've never read the poem (I plan to) but I actually have read Malory's le Morte D'Arthur. Yes, Gawain always seems to be presented as a less than worthy knight and hardly courageous. Just a case of nepotism. In the context of the movie, I suspect that

the fact he only finds his "courage" after seeing how badly his cowardice plays out is... possibly... something a little more topical regarding courage. We're in an exceptionally cowardly time, where bluster is confused with courage, and hiding from the results is not only standard practice, but perceived to also be strong and courageous. In any case, I think it's a statement on the true aspect of courage.

Which is essentially just a simpler explanation of what Pike said. However...

I'm not certain Gawain is actually a horrible person. He's just a lazy, entitled glutton. Which refers back to my previous point.

I do very much agree with your comment that Gawain's behavior is a comment on the times we live in. I think this may be why the big change from the poem that Lowery makes for the film is Gawain is not at all a noble knight.
 

bujaki

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A medieval romance usually tells the story of a knight involved in a quest, a quest that will prove his worth: physical, moral and spiritual. Sometimes the hero is unaware of his own qualities, and he needs to fail in many of his trials before he attains his self-knowledge. But, most important, these qualities were always in him; he was just oblivious to them.
Aside: the best example of a modern medieval romance is the film Ride the High Country, where two aging knights go on a quest. One goes astray but regains the High Ground because a knight can never deny his true being, his true soul. And the quest is completed.
Gawain is a shit, but he is a knight who doesn't know his true qualities. King Arthur realizes that Gawain must be put to the test, must be sent on a quest. The Green Knight provides the test. Gawain sets out on his adventure and fails each test repeatedly.
In the poem, Gawain submits to his fate but the Green Knight only nicks the neck in order to draw some blood: a symbolic beheading. Gawain is now ennobled: he is a true knight.
In the film, Gawain submits, has a change of heart and flees. This is the moment when he sees what the future will hold for him and the kingdom. Faced with the horrors prophesied, he goes back to the Green Knight and willingly submits his head.
The ending is ambiguous. You can take from it what you will. In my eyes, Gawain, by accepting the outcome of the bargain (his fate), has become a true knight. Whether he live or die is immaterial. He is no longer a shit.
 

Reggie W

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Faced with the horrors prophesied, he goes back to the Green Knight and willingly submits his head.

For me, I see a lot of hints in the story as to what is going on. The green and red speech as an example. I also see the Green Knight as representing nature and the natural world. In this way I do not think the Green Knight looks at death as anything more than a cycle, a season, and so due to this he does not really see anything wrong with death as it is just part of the natural order of things.

In this way I think the outcome for Gawain is the Green Knight preserving that order and removing something that is...you could say, bad for the environment.
 

Josh Dial

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The poster art for this movie is (from what I've seen) uniformly excellent. I have full faith that A24 will put out an awesome 4k physical release, but I'm hoping they or someone else has a great steelcase or fabric box (like the Midsommer director's cut box).

This is one of those rare movies where I'll buy it multiple times just for different box art.

And to show that I'm a man of my word, I've ordered both versions of the upcoming steelbook, to add alongside my non-steelbook 4k copy:

1648225206033.png


1648225190624.png
 

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