The Green Knight (2021) vs. Gawain and the Green Knight (1991)

The Green Knight

Rated: 1 / 5

Wokeness: 3 / 5

You know, the most hilarious thing about this is the imdb description of it. I quote:

A fantasy re-telling of the medieval story of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight.


What the hell did they think it was before? Historical fiction absent of any fantasy elements? I’m pretty sure any tale about a medieval knight who chops off the head of a jolly green wood giant, who survives this and carries his talking head with him out of the room, has some semblance of fantasy genre in it.

Gawain and the Green Knight

Rated: 3 / 5

Wokeness: 1 / 5

King Arthur looks like a pussy. But other than that…

Same old Hollywood. Even today, they just can’t get the races right when it comes to the casting of characters. Back in the day they utilized makeup to make white people look asian, black, or latino. Nowadays they don’t even bother with the makeup and just have black people and indians (as in India) taking up white roles. That’s when I first suspected the 2021 movie was going to have some problems. But the trailer intrigued me, and I was fresh off of watching the far lesser known 1991 low-budget film that tells the same story in half the time. And the 1991 film is still a slow-burn of a movie. That should let you know how fucking slow the 2021 film is. They mine as well re-title it “The Gay Killjoy.”

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This is such bullshit. It’s not enough to double the film length into something so bloated it becomes style over substance. 2001: A Space Odyssey this is not. They do what any respectable modern adaptation of a beloved tale does these days. Completely gut all the original themes, moral lessons, and inspiring virtues that were to be gained, and substitute it with inferior bullshit, just like they did with Beowulf. Except this film is far worse, because in the process of gutting out all of that, they forgot to put in something to replace it. Well, at least with anything that comes even remotely close to making up the difference. This film is as empty as the virtues the writers/directors/modern hollywood holds dear.

For starters, consider the virtues of a knight in the King Arthur period and setting.

  • Humility: the state or quality of being humble of mind or spirit; absence or pride or self-assertion.
  • Piety: devotion to religious duties and practices; loyalty and devotion to parents, family, etc.
  • Integrity: the quality or state of being of sound moral principle; uprightness, honesty, and sincerity.
  • Loyalty: faithfulness or faithful adherence to a person, government, cause, duty, etc.
  • Honesty: a refraining from lying, cheating, or stealing; a being truthful, trustworthy, or upright.

Well, in all fairness, indian Gawain certainly got the humility part right. Getting bossed around by his witch mother (which really confused the shit out of me, not just because she isn’t white like old frail King Arthur, but because Gawain is supposed to be Arthur’s nephew, which leads me to believe that the witch mother is either Arthur’s sister, or the wife of Arthur’s brother/sister; if the latter, do tell, because I was unaware of Arthur having a sister beyond Morgana, and a nephew other than Mordred). Getting ambushed by two dykes. Constantly getting bossed around by the overabundance of women in this film, making sure the feminism of today remains entrenched in virtually all films as the expense of traditional reliable male masculinity.

Piety. What the fuck does he have that he can be devoted to in this? Arthur didn’t seem to matter at all. This film took out all the Christian stuff (more on that later), so there’s no devotion to God. The only thing I can figure him being devoted to is this chick he has sex with off and on early/later on, but he sure as hell didn’t stay faithful to her (plus, you can kiss chasteness goodbye). I guess devotion to this game, like how Jesus Christ remained devoted to not giving into temptation, until the last act of The Last Temptation of Christ.

Considering he sleeps and drinks around at brothels and allows himself to get jacked off by a queen, I’m not so sure I can say he has integrity. In fact, that’s the first thing I recognized being absent early on in the film. Right off the bat, when he’s first introduced, this was clearly the first knightly trait Apna was missing (I refuse to call this guy Gawain, he’s too different from the source material in several ways).

As far as loyalty goes, pretty much everything stated with regard to piety applies.

Honesty. This is the most significant of the virtues in this entire story, because that’s the main lesson to take away from the original tale. In the original tale, and in the 1991 film that had an actual accurate representation of Gawain, this was the one virtue he was found at fault on, while the others were tested in their own way, and he remained true to them. But he held this sash that was to protect him from harm, and he withheld knowledge of this sash from the green knight when the time came to have his head chopped off. The Green Knight stated this to him, allowed him to live (less because of the sash and more because he had no intention of ending Gawain’s life; he just intended to test how virtuous of a knight he really was), but with a knick on his neck to reflect the scar on his conscience. A bittersweet ending, where he came back to Arthur’s court publicly acknowledged as virtuous, but with the guilt of knowing that he isn’t 100% perfectly virtuous.

Apna, on the other hand, does the complete opposite. He has a Last Temptation of Christ moment, and then tears the sash away before the swing, which makes this a “kinda sorta” win for honesty. I call it bullshit. It’s no wonder he didn’t have that shield representing perfection and the blood of Christ (let alone this film losing out on that whole allegory of Christianity coming up to replace Paganism, and how the Green Knight of Paganism tests Gawain of Christianity on its merits, if it’s something capable of being worthy of stepping up to the mantle Pagans once stood upon). He couldn’t in good conscience wear it from the get-go anyway, let alone after the trial was over.

Oh God, that’s right. Women also create chainmail for him to wear, and fit him with it. Feeling that sense of empowerment yet?

As superior as the 1991 film is to the 2021 film (wow, 30 year difference), it’s not without its own faults (perfection is something to strive for, not achieve). The low budget is felt frequently, with how some effects look, the casting of certain characters (like they were limited to local stage actors or students or something, who did fine for the most part, it’s just, well, look at the guy who plays Arthur), the limitations of what the set could bring. But make no mistake, this film tried. There is significant effort to make the most they can with what they had, and I’ll be damned if they didn’t put admirable effort into it. If nothing else, it’s watchable. But it’s also strange. With the way the first 20 minutes goes, the editing style, the presentation, the pacing. It made me wonder what the hell was going on. But in a good way, because things eventually came together. As opposed to the 2021 version where several questions are raised and left unanswered (like what the fuck was up with that coven of witches Apna’s mother was a part of).

Plus you have to watch the 1991 film with a certain mindset. That you’re watching an old-school tale, a traditional tale. There isn’t much in the way of attempting to modernize it in order to make it more hip and cool and trendy. So the story will be told in an old-fashioned way typical of tales from, well, the 14th century. This is primarily evident while Gawain is at the castle, where the lord does a few hunts, and Gawain is tempted by the queen on multiple occasions. The main thing that breaks up the monotony with those scenes is the battle of wits for Gawain, who has to walk a line of neither offending the king or queen, and thus utilize language the best he can to pull it off. If that doesn’t give away it’s plain simple old-school story style, I don’t know what will. The film can stylize it, and put it on the slow-burner, all it wants, but it stayed true to the story and it shows. It’s rather refreshing, in all honesty. Sometimes things are better when they’re kept simple. As opposed to the 2021 film where it’s all like, “Eh, forget about those fancy words and stuff, just have the queen jack this guy off and stain the sash with his semen (this actually happens), and let him kiss the king passionately on the mouth.”

Just watch the 1991 movie (1 hour 17 minutes). Forget the 2021 waste of time (2 hours 10 minutes). I could say more, but I’d rather just list quotes from other reviewers I found more entertaining than the movie they justifiably bashed.

Ultimately, I’m just so tired of the movie industry. I’m tired of the group-thinky, “Emperor’s New Clothes” mentality found in the lavish Metacritic reviews. I’m tired of the incessant, fake 10-star user reviews on IMDB. And I’m tired of Hollywood’s complete inability to make a good movie anymore, no matter how good the actors or the source material.


There’s a great movie lurking somewhere in The Green Knight, but unfortunately, it never emerged.

jgeorge4 of IMDb

Lowery’s film was egregiously slow-paced and dull with an tone that is utterly devoid of joy.

cagebox111 of IMDb

Nude female giants, including a single mom. Neither jolly or green. Loving that empowerment yet?

Took the original story and removed morals, reason and integrity right out of this movie. Thanks, Hollywood, you’ve done it again.

jimndebj of IMDb

Hollywood yet again can’t comprehend moral messages they don’t personally follow and completely changed this one.

reedcom of IMDb

Also the music is sometime too much, once you here the choir you know you can expect the next 5 mins to but just silent shots of Dev Patel walking with his horse.

perrinedouard of IMDb

If you like the smell of your own farts you might like this movie.

roonayk of IMDb

PS: Thanks should be given to J.R.R. Tolkien who first brought this story to the English-speaking world with his translation.

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