I had some expectations for this film. I did wonder how a tale that can be told in about five minutes would fill a two hour film. Well, the latter doubt proved to be more true that the former hope…
The story of Sir Gawain and the green knight is a famous one. The film is based on that story obviously. At the court of an unnamed king during Christmas eve celebrations a green knight enters the room and challenges those present to cut off his head. In exchange, the person who does so, will meet the knight a year later at the green chapel. In the film, the green knight is identified with the Green Man.
In his only act of chivalry, Gawain accepts the challenge, but in the film he apparently thinks he has to fight the green knight. In any case, the green knight picks up his head, reminds Gawain of his promise and leaves. These first scenes have quite some annoying additions to the story which apparently are added to give a bit of a spooky atmosphere.
Not really out of free will, Gawain sets out for the green chapel a year later. So that would be two hours of adventures, right? Not really. The film is minimalist and slow, but (in my opinion) not in the good way. It is pretty boring. The story remains fairly true to the actual story until the end.
Gawain ends up in a castle of a lord who likes to hunt. There the story seriously starts to divert from the Gawain story and towards the end, Lowery appears to have missed entirely the clue of the actual story. He uses most original aspects (such as the green ribbon), but fails to let Gawain come out of the bargain as a hero with a minor scratch. What a weak ending!
As I said, the film is slow and fairly boring, the acting is fairly flat and especially the weak end makes me have to conclude that his is a pretty weak film.