The Green Knight is an epic medieval fantasy production written, edited, produced, and directed by David Lowery. It stars Dev Patel, Alicia Vikander, Joel Edgerton, Sarita Choudhury, Sean Harris, Barry Keoghan, and Ralph Ineson and is based on the poem of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight. It tells the story of Sir Gawain (Patel) who embarks on a quest to confront the eponymous Knight, a gigantic tree-like creature. This film dissects the relationship between chivalry, courtesy, and Christianity, sinful nature, and the importance of truth. The script matches the source material not only by its storytelling but also by the structure of a poem by circling back to themes similar to that of a rhyme scheme. This ends up making the film more a mental and emotional watch seeing these challenges Gawain faces before his ultimate fate. The ending isn’t that clear cut but either way, it doesn’t really matter if the Green Knight kills Gawain or lets him go. Gawain has proven himself. He has lived with honor, and the ending of the film shows us that since death is inevitable, viewers might as well be honorable too.
Where To Watch
This is one of 2021’s best films and the 4K transfer with Dolby Vision HDR (and HDR10) looks excellent. The Dolby Atmos audio mix sounds amazing. As of this review, the film is only available to buy or rent through VOD services like Amazon Prime Video, Vudu, Apple TV, Google Play, and YouTube. You can rent the movie or purchase it up to 4K (at an increased cost). However, even with the 4K streaming content, one would need a decent internet speed to watch such a high resolution as 4K without facing any issues. Amazon Prime states that one would need at least 15 megabits per second (Mbps) but one would need either 25 Mbps or higher for a truly stable stream.
The film is 125 minutes long and was filmed at 6K and has a 1.85:1 aspect ratio so it will take up the entire screen.
The film is 125 minutes long and was filmed at 6K and has a 1.85:1 aspect ratio so it will take up the entire screen. The transfer uses a 4K digital intermediate and it has never looked any better. This release adds a high dynamic range with HDR10 which gives the film a better color representation. There is a noted improvement in the film’s details, colors, black levels, and contrast that are consistently shown throughout the film. Comparing the 1080p HD Disc to this 4K Disc with Dolby Vision/HDR, the upgrade is easily noticeable. The HDR makes the colors pop more and skin tones are much more natural-looking. The black levels give the film much more depth and provide really sharp details. One can see individual facial hairs, makeup effects, and each part of Gawain’s armor. This is perhaps one of the best-looking 4K films that I’ve ever seen.
VIDEO SCORE: 5/5
This film has a Daniel Hart score that evokes dread and wonder in equal measure, adding to the sense that the picture is set in a mythical land removed from our reality. This is played through the disc’s Dolby Atmos track that really creates that movie experience from the start with the haunting voice-over. This film may not have big explosions but anyone watching the film is on the journey with Gawain. As he travels across the countryside, all of nature is heard in the surroundings from the trees blowing in the wind to insects chirping. It is absolutely phenomenal. In earlier group scenes, it can seem that everyone is around you while watching the film which really brings the film more into Gawain’s perspective. This mix is fantastic.
AUDIO SCORE: 5/5
- Boldest Of Blood And Wildest Of Heart: Making The Green Knight (HD, 36 Mins.) – A behind-the-scenes documentary that shows the movie making processes.
- Practitioners Of Magic: Visual Effects (HD, 15 Mins.) – A behind-the-scenes documentary that shows how the visual effects were added to the real-life filming.
- Illuminating Technique: Title Design (HD, 18 Mins.) – An interview with the title designer who talks about the main and end titles.
- The Tailer
SPECIAL FEATURES SCORE: 4/5
5: Reference Quality/The Best/Must Own
The score composed by Daniel Hart and cinematographer Andrew Droz Palermo really enhances this idea of a dreamlike story that also connects the film to current global climate problems. Palermo beautifully shows this through the stunning nature shots. Like the original poem, the movie is open to more than one interpretation. Gawain’s arc and his story are fairly straightforward in their telling, but the implications of the themes and what they mean are fascinating. There are many ways to interpret the film, but it yields much depth to its audience regardless of their preconceptions. This 4K release is the best it could look and sound.
How I review 4K UHD:
I will write about the movies that I own that either I buy or already own. If a reader wants me to review a specific movie, I will. No matter if it’s good or bad, I will be honest and if it is worth the upgrade over the prior releases and/or streaming. The rating scale for each section is on a simple 1-5 and 5 is kept for the reference quality movies. The overall score is then the average number of the three which is either rounded up or rounded down. The score is then put on this word scale.
5: Reference Quality/The Best/Must Own
4: Not reference but worth buying/upgrading at full price
3: Worth Buying/Upgrading but wait for a sale
2: Fans Only
1: Skip it unless you absolutely need it.
Equipment Used for Review:
Video: BenQ HT3550 4K Projector with 92-inch Elite Screens and Xbox Series X.
Audio: 5.2.2 surround sound via Denon S730H receiver (Dolby Atmos/DTS:X) and Dayton Audio APA150 Amplifier.
About the reviewer:
My name is Dre, aka The Formal Review, and I am a huge home entertainment and physical media enthusiast. I have been a cinephile since childhood and have studied science, film, art, and mathematics. You can follow me on social media, check out my podcast for my movie analyses, my YouTube channel for film analysis, and also letterboxd for my numerical reviews of films.