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Last Saturday, I did something that I rarely do: I took a nap. It’s probably been about a year since I did that, and I haven’t taken naps more frequently than that since college. I also did something else that I hadn’t done since September: I went to the movies. I used to do that almost every Sunday, but with the pandemic, that’s non longer common practice.
I think these two things are connected. I took a nap, felt revitalized, and figured I see a movie at a late hour. I bought a ticket to Old and almost immediately regretted it. I wanted to see The Green Knight first and didn’t realize it had been released. Fortunately, Old ended right about the the Green Knight‘s start time. With previews, I didn’t miss a thing.
The Green Knight dragged at times, but I’ve come to expect that from movies about legend and mythology. We sometimes say that a picture is worth a thousand words, and that’s certainly true of a movie. As a result, most myths can be told in 45-60 minutes on film. Filmmakers have two choices: borrow material from other myths and legends or fill in the story with creations of their own. I usually see the former, but in this case, it was the latter as far as I could tell. If they were borrowing from specific myths and legends, I didn’t recognize them. This is where it dragged, but for an apologist for such things, I still enjoyed it.
This also means that it’s probably not the story you know beyond the broad strokes. Besides the original filler, the filmmaker took some liberties with the story, but this can hardly be considered inappropriate. From generation through generation, Arthurian legend is essentially a collection of fan fiction. It appears to have changed with almost every telling of a story. Who’s to say that the filmmaker is wrong for doing their own thing?
The cast was great, BTW.
I give it a B+, but remember that comes from an apologist. YMMV. Old was good too, but I like everything M. Night Shamalamadingdong does, even including the much-maligned The Village. So yeah, YMMV.
So, now that this is over with, let’s gear back up for my continuation of my 1st Edition Advanced Dungeons & Dragons revisit by asking why the hell haven’t I seen the Green Knight appear in any official D&D text after the original Deities and Demigods? Even in that source, there was very little provided by the description. What villain could provide a greater hook than one whose villainy is merely teaching you a valuable lesson? FYI, A24 created an RPG based on the movie, which they released about a year ago. Googling it provides several reviews of it from CBR.com, Polygon, and others.
I didn’t think there’d be a post-credit scene in a movie like The Green Knight, so I left too early. Oops.
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[…] Hidden Secrets in Rare Old Arthurian Legend.” Apparently, we’ve got some more twists to the fan fiction that is Arthurian legend. If you don’t know why I’m calling it fan fiction . . . […]