The Green Knight | Filmology With Spoken Nerd

Is this the same guy from the logo of Green Man Brewery in Asheville, NC?

In my opinion, The Green Knight is the greatest “knight movie” ever made.  Having said that I will follow with the truth, I don’t like knight movies.  There are a few exceptions to the rule but most of those have titles that start with “Monty Python and…”  I’ve always been bored with the idea of a hero that has no personality aside from being brave.  These characters are almost always so perfect.  Of course, you could say the same thing about a lot of the modern action movies that we all love but the characters in those flicks are relatable in a weird way.  In movies like Point Break, you get to see Keanu Reeves’ character through the eyes of Gary Busey as he eats a meatball sub.  Even Liam Neeson’s character in Taken is driven by emotion as well as skill.  On the other hand, the knights on their overly serious and boring quests only exhibit bravery and strength.     

It’s hard for me to consider ever wanting to become a knight.  First of all, I’ve never been one for riding horses.  I grew up in a small town where horse riding was a pass time for people of all ages.  There was a bully at my high school that fell off a horse and suffered brain damage.  The next time I ran into him his insults just didn’t pack the same punch and I actually felt sorry for him instead of myself.  Maybe that’s the way I should have felt all along. Also, can you imagine wearing a bunch of armor or pots and pans on your body?  That outfit seems dangerous in a normal situation.  I wouldn’t want to go out for pizza wearing all of that and these dudes are going into battles dressed like the tin man from The Wizard of Oz.  On a long hot day in regular life, I like to drink beer to cool off.  All that armor would certainly intensify the heat during the summer,  I would have to drink double the beer to cool down in the evenings, and then I’d be hungover in the morning.  Can you imagine wearing that Knight suit hungover?  This whole concept is so problematic for me.     

The Green Knight offers up a beautiful commentary on the concept of a hero as we are introduced to Gawain, the headstrong nephew of King Arthur.  When the villainous Green Knight shows up in Arthur’s court on Christmas Day challenging any knight to land a blow and win his green ax,  Gawain steps up to the plate.  The catch is that Gawain has to receive an equal blow from the Green Knight next Christmas.  Gawain decapitates the Green Knight who picks up his own severed head and rides away laughing.  This serves as a contract for Gawain’s own demise in one year.  This situation reminds me of some of the emails I get around Christmas for “special deals” on vehicles or credit cards, I always wonder if they are going to behead me in the not-so-distant future.  Gawain spends most of the next year partying like his parents just paid for college and he’s trying beer for the first time.  He just has the best time a boy could have until the Christmas season approaches and the King sends him off to the Green Chapel for his date with Green Knight.       

There are so many things to like about this picture.  The cinematography alone could have sold me on The Green Knight.  This film is absolutely gorgeous and was filmed entirely in Ireland.  Despite the lack of high profile cast, the acting performances in The Green Knight are exceptional.  The thing that impresses me the most about The Green Knight is the unique take on the idea of a hero.  We all know someone like Gawain, who may be unqualified to take on most skilled tasks but is quick to jump at the opportunity to do something huge that anyone with an ounce of sense would shy away from.  The characters in The Green Knight all seem distant and unrelatable in a very intentional way that forces the viewer to question the film and get to the bottom of what the movie is actually saying.       

Several years ago, when I started playing pinball, I came to the conclusion that the theme of a machine has little to do with the quality of a game.  I was in an arcade full of space and fantasy-themed pinball machines when I found Red and Ted’s Roadshow.  Red and Ted was a construction-themed game that was so goofy.  The game had a country music soundtrack and had everything going against it, still, it was the most fun game in that arcade.  The Green Knight has sharpened that same point in the genre of Knight Movies.  You won’t see me buying blu rays of First Knight, Braveheart, or the dreadful Lord of the Rings trilogy, but I have to be honest in my assessment when I say that The Green Knight was really dope.

About Nathan Conrad:

He’s best known as the Nashville-based Hip Hop/Indie Pop emcee Spoken Nerd, but this isn’t your typical rap project. He rhymes playfully at times, while sometimes playfully singing and/or rapping, he juxtaposes his style with real-life situations and subject matter. With six full-length albums into his career, the rapper has built a healthy catalog of music, which doesn’t include the number of EPs and singles released.